Education and occupational sex segregation: The case of women in engineering.

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/186277
Title:
Education and occupational sex segregation: The case of women in engineering.
Author:
Frehill-Rowe, Lisa Marie.
Issue Date:
1993
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Occupational sex segregation is one explanation for the sex gap in pay. Traditionally female occupations offered low wages, few benefits and lacked ladders of upward mobility. In the United States, education is viewed as a route to upward mobility. Prior to legislation enacted in the early 1970's, however, men's and women's educational opportunities varied. Women's enrollments at medical, law and engineering schools were limited. After removal of such limitations, however, women's penetration of these fields over the past twenty years has varied. Women comprised one third of all new medical doctors and more than 40% of all new lawyers, but only 14% of all bachelors degrees in engineering were awarded to women in 1987. This dissertation answers two questions. First, what factors are instrumental in college students' decision to major in engineering? Second, given they major in engineering, what factors account for sex differences in the completion of a bachelors degree in engineering? Multinomial logit models of major choice are constructed with data from the 1980 senior cohort of the High School and Beyond longitudinal survey. The base year (1980), three follow-up waves (1982, 1984, and 1986) and the Post-Secondary Transcript data were used. Enrollment characteristics of engineering schools in the early 1980's are compiled from several archival sources. The multinomial logit models are decomposed to determine the percent of the sex gap in major choice explained by the models and the relative importance of high school preparation and skills, attitudes and structural constraints as explanations of the sex differences in engineering education. It is shown that, at most, 9.2% of the sex gap in the choice of engineering is explained by the factors specified by the policy literature (i.e., sex differences in high school preparation and skills and occupational attitudes). As much as 77% of the sex gap is attributable to sex differences in how fields of study are viewed. Finally, women who majored in engineering in 1982 were more likely than their male counterparts to complete a bachelors degree in engineering by 1986. Therefore, the primary issue regarding women and engineering education concerns the initial attraction of women to engineering programs.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
Dissertations, Academic.; Women's studies.
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Sociology; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Committee Chair:
England, Paula

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleEducation and occupational sex segregation: The case of women in engineering.en_US
dc.creatorFrehill-Rowe, Lisa Marie.en_US
dc.contributor.authorFrehill-Rowe, Lisa Marie.en_US
dc.date.issued1993en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractOccupational sex segregation is one explanation for the sex gap in pay. Traditionally female occupations offered low wages, few benefits and lacked ladders of upward mobility. In the United States, education is viewed as a route to upward mobility. Prior to legislation enacted in the early 1970's, however, men's and women's educational opportunities varied. Women's enrollments at medical, law and engineering schools were limited. After removal of such limitations, however, women's penetration of these fields over the past twenty years has varied. Women comprised one third of all new medical doctors and more than 40% of all new lawyers, but only 14% of all bachelors degrees in engineering were awarded to women in 1987. This dissertation answers two questions. First, what factors are instrumental in college students' decision to major in engineering? Second, given they major in engineering, what factors account for sex differences in the completion of a bachelors degree in engineering? Multinomial logit models of major choice are constructed with data from the 1980 senior cohort of the High School and Beyond longitudinal survey. The base year (1980), three follow-up waves (1982, 1984, and 1986) and the Post-Secondary Transcript data were used. Enrollment characteristics of engineering schools in the early 1980's are compiled from several archival sources. The multinomial logit models are decomposed to determine the percent of the sex gap in major choice explained by the models and the relative importance of high school preparation and skills, attitudes and structural constraints as explanations of the sex differences in engineering education. It is shown that, at most, 9.2% of the sex gap in the choice of engineering is explained by the factors specified by the policy literature (i.e., sex differences in high school preparation and skills and occupational attitudes). As much as 77% of the sex gap is attributable to sex differences in how fields of study are viewed. Finally, women who majored in engineering in 1982 were more likely than their male counterparts to complete a bachelors degree in engineering by 1986. Therefore, the primary issue regarding women and engineering education concerns the initial attraction of women to engineering programs.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectDissertations, Academic.en_US
dc.subjectWomen's studies.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineSociologyen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.chairEngland, Paulaen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberGrant, Donen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberSchwartzman, Kathleenen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBahill, A. Terryen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberDuckstein, Lucienen_US
dc.identifier.proquest9328607en_US
dc.identifier.oclc717428495en_US
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