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Are women and men's atypical educational choices punished? gender system justification, ambivalent sexism, and precarious manhood

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2019
Kuzlak, Abdulkadir
Current dissertation aimed to investigate whether female or male students are discriminated in university fields when they are gender minority. When a woman or a man study in an opposite-gender-oriented field, she/he could be regarded as a violator of prescriptive gender stereotypes and gender status-quo and could be punished. Because universities are part of gender hierarchy and gender segregation exists at the universities. It is, also, thought that system justification, ambivalent sexism, and precarious manhood could moderate the relationship between gender typicality situation of students and discrimination against them. This dissertation implemented four studies to reach its goals. The first study (a) found that the most suitable fields for woman and man were perceived as Early Childhood Education and Civil Engineering, respectively. The second study (b) revealed that gender minority students are warned by their families during field selection not to choose desired field but not gender majorities. Two studies were designed to test discrimination against gender minority students at the university. The first one (c) revealed that agentic profiles received significantly more scores to represent the field compared to communal profiles and as the benevolent sexism scores increase, communal female candidates are evaluated as more suitable for representing the field. The second one (d) found that agentic profiles are more likely to be accepted to graduate education compared to communal profiles. Findings mainly suggest that some university fields are perceived as one-gender-suitable, atypical educational choices are wanted to be hampered by families, and ambivalent sexism is an important indicator whether there will be positive discrimination for communal women or not. Results are discussed in light of sexism, stereotype content model, system justification, and manhood.