Occupational Segregation Essay

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The workforce varies in gender composition based on occupation. This is due to the fact that there are a variety of factors that can drive an individual to select a certain occupation. In male and female dominated occupations the salaries differ which relates to the concept of occupational segregation based on gender. This all becomes evident when looking at a male dominated profession, such as mechanical engineering with only 8.8% women, a female dominated profession, such as preschool teachers and kindergarten teachers with 97.2% women and a gender neutral occupation, such as postsecondary teachers with 50.2% women.
There are a variety of factors that can drive an individual to select a certain profession and result in occupational segregation,
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Women are portrayed as teachers repeatedly in shows and movies such as The Magic School Bus with Ms.Frizzle and all of the teachers in the movie Matilda are female. There are exceptions, such as Kindergarten Cop where an instructor is male, but when Arnold Schwarzenegger enters the profession it is comical he is the minority. He is also coming from a male dominated profession, police officers, which has 12.4% women. Media that communicates material that is more related to building and construction such as Mythbusters and Modern Marvels have male protagonists such as Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman or a male voice actor. This appeals to a male audience, not a female audience and thus males are more attracted to engineering professions and females are not, as seen in the career of mechanical engineering which is only 8.8% …show more content…
Men are expected to be aggressive, dominant, strong and in control. This is in stark contrast to women who are supposed to be nurturing and caring. These social pressures influence jobs that individuals enter. Men enter jobs like mechanical engineering or become police officers because these professions embody the social values expected of men. As engineers, men are able to demonstrate how they are in control and are able to advance due to their keen intellect and ability to work in that environment. When men are police officers they can be aggressive, dominant, strong, and in control as they attempt to keep order in society. Thus, those professions are heavily male dominated because the professions match up to what society values in men. That is also why there are female dominated professions. Men are not supposed to be nurturing or caring which is why there are so few male preschool teachers and elementary school teachers. Being nurturing and caring is expected of females. Thus, elementary and preschool teachers are female as it is what is socially expected. However, some professions are not gender specific such as postsecondary teachers. This is due to the fact that the acquisition and transition of knowledge are socially accepted and encouraged in both genders. Thus, neither gender dominates this

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