STRUCTURE AND UNDERLYING VALUE OF PREFERABLE GENDER CHARACTERISTICS AMONG THE STUDENTS OF BELGRADE UNIVERSITY
Keywords:gender stereotypes, evaluation of gender attributes, structure of gender stereotypes, higher education
The aim of the study was to analyse preferable gender characteristics based on underlying gender stereotypes among the students from the University of Belgrade. The specific objective was to explore the prescribed value and the structure of those stereotypes. The participants were 261 students (69.7% female) from the University of Belgrade, 55.2% from Departments of social sciences and humanities and 44.8% from Departments of technical sciences, from the first to the fourth year of undergraduate studies.
In the first phase of the study, we have used the list of eight pairs of desirable male and female prototypical attributes, and in the second phase, we have used the semantic differential scale for evaluative assessment of those attributes. The results have indicated that typical gender stereotypes are still predominant even in the academic environment. Stereotypes are more pronounced in the male sample than in the female one, i.e. women perceive the sexes as more similar to each other than men do. Both men and women evaluated the desirable “male” characteristics more positively than “female” ones, but men valued “female” characteristics significantly lower than women. We identified four groups of students with different structures of stereotypes. The predominant groups of stereotyping expressed masculinisation of both genders, or clear polarisation based on patriarchal tradition. If we consider students as the important strength for development of gender equality, more efforts should be made for understanding influence and planning policies, and programs targeting gender equality on faculties.
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