A Social Psychological Perspective
Chapter 16. Discrimination and Self-discrimination of Women at Work
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In the previous chapter we explained that people choose certain strategies to keep, change, or upgrade their gender identity. Work discrimination against women is changing gradually toward greater equality; the occupational areas that offer more resistance are those traditionally dominated by the male gender, up to the point that many women, after having tried different strategies to manage their gender identity, abandon their careers. It is often argued that women self-discriminate themselves. The economic experiments on risk aversion clearly illustrate these self-discriminatory processes of women. This is why we are interested in these investigations. But the research does not explain the underlying motives of women’s self-discrimination. Certainly, before self-discriminating, women have suffered discrimination. We return to this subject later.
As we discussed, because of the mere fact that many adults live and work with people of different genders, they erroneously assume that we have overcome gender discrimination. Many workplaces are significantly segregated, either physically or in terms of the type of work. For example, in the military, women traditionally do not participate in the fighting, and at the U.S. Military Academy, most theoretical disciplines are fundamentally taught by men, while women are concentrated in the descriptive ← 179 | 180 → and applied disciplines like “support.” Moreover, since many friendships between men and women are perceived as sexualized, it is difficult for both to form close relationships, devoid of sexual load, unless one party is openly gay or lesbian or the relationship is within a group...
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