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Attitudes Towards Woman Roles

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ATTITUDES TOWARDS WOMEN=S ROLES – MONFRIES & SCEVAK

1

Australian Journal of Educational & Developmental Psychology. Vol 1, 2001, pp 1-9

Developmental differences in attitudes towards women=s roles in = Australian Society: Critical periods for Afeminist@ socialisation. @
Melissa M. Monfries & Jill. J. Scevak Faculty of Education, University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

ABSTRACT
Gender role attitudes of adolescent girls have not been widely studied, nor have the mechanisms by which attitudes towards women’s roles develop. The present study focussed on adolescent girls’ gender role attitudes. Specifically it focussed on developmental differences in gender role attitudes of adolescent girls (n=642). The results indicated that Year 9 girls had significantly more positive attitudes towards feminism than Year 11 girls. These findings have important implications for girls’ career development. Results suggest that there is a critical period between Years 9 and 11 which accounts for girls’ increased conservatism towards feminism. The integral involvement of socialisation processes is necessarily implicated in this critical period.

INTRODUCTION
Group identification has been strongly associated with an individual's level of group consciousness (Henderson-King & Stewart, 1994). Tajfel (1978; 1982) specified that the two important components of group identification were the awareness of one's group membership and the evaluative stance towards one's membership in that group. Given that sex is biologically determined (Quadrio, 1994) females' identification as female in terms of awareness should be unproblematic. However, the evaluative component of identification with female is more complex and possibly relates more to gender, which is socially and historically constructed (Quadrio, 1994). The aim of this study is to examine the evaluative aspect of females'...

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