ACHIEVING SEX EQUITY: A STUDY OF FEMALE VOCATIONAL EDUCATION CHOICE IN NEW JERSEY SECONDARY SCHOOLS

FRANCES N COLIE, Fordham University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of parents, peers, school guidance, and sex role ideology on the occupational choice of women who chose traditional vocational programs with women who chose nontraditional vocational programs. The study proposed to discover how these influences might explain women's choice of vocational training in program areas now dominated by men.^ Chi square and t tests were used to compare group differences in the research variables among women traditional and nontraditional vocational education graduates: class of '81, '82, and '83. The groups were designated traditional and nontraditional according to Vocational Education Data System enrollments in which programs are designated as traditional when 75.1 to 100% of all enrolled students are women and nontraditional when 0.0 to 25.0% of all enrolled are women. In addition to questionnaire information, interviews were conducted with a sample of 20 nontraditional women to discover the outcomes of nontraditional training for women in the labor market.^ The findings based on the analysis of the data obtained indicated that traditional women had mothers who worked for longer periods of time, had a higher need for approval and social acceptance, and were highly stereotypic in sex role ideology and family orientation. The findings indicate that nontraditional women were more influenced by guidance intervention programs and strategies and made occupational program choices earlier than traditional women. There were no significant differences found between the groups in mother's employment type, father's employment type, family income, amount of parental help given, parent most helpful, perceived purposes of guidance, frequency of guidance sessions attended, amount of nontraditional occupational information received, ranked perception of the most significant influences on occupational choice and the present career status of vocational women graduates.^ Traditional and nontraditional women perceived parents as the most significant influence on their occupational choice, followed by their own personal attitude of what was an appropriate and attainable choice, and teachers were perceived as third most influential.^ The results of this study suggest that school guidance and intervention programs are capable of increasing women's participation in nontraditional vocational programs and expanding options for women in the labor market. ^

Subject Area

Vocational education

Recommended Citation

COLIE, FRANCES N, "ACHIEVING SEX EQUITY: A STUDY OF FEMALE VOCATIONAL EDUCATION CHOICE IN NEW JERSEY SECONDARY SCHOOLS" (1985). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8616820.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8616820

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