Prediction of vocational choice from sex role orientation and attitudes



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Recent information indicates that stereotypes and attitudes toward women's vocations may be changing (Spence & Helmreich, 1972). In view of such changes it seemed important to consider vocational preference in conjunction with one's perceived sex role; i.e., masculinity or femininity, as well as from the aspect of attitudes toward women in general and the role they play in society. Since vocational preferences have traditionally been determined by instruments which were standardized on male subjects and were primarily concerned with biologic maleness and femaleness, this study was designed to consider the psychological characteristics which may influence vocational choice. The problem under investigation revolved around the issue that women may respond differentially to vocational choices depending on their attitudes toward themselves and their attitudes toward women as a group. Two hundred female students at the University of Houston were administered the Vocational Preference Inventory (Holland, 1973), the Bern Sex Role Inventory (Bern, 1974), and the Attitudes Toward Women Scale (Spence & Helmreich, 1972). Analysis by means of a canonical correlation was used to determine the number of ways the VPI personality types were related to the BSRI and the AWS. Results indicated that attitudes and sex role identification account for a small portion of the variance, and that women's vocational interests cannot be identified in any significant way by the sole use of BSRI/AWS variables.