The Effect of Gender Stereotypes on Explicit and Implicit Career Preferences

Reuma Gadassi, Itamar Gati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


The present study compared gender differences in directly reported and indirectly derived career preferences and tested the hypothesis that individuals' implicit preferences would show less gender-biased occupational choices than their directly elicited ones. Two hundred sixty-six visitors to a career-related Internet site were asked to (a) list 5 to 10 suitable occupations (the directly reported list) and (b) report their preferences in terms of 31 career-related aspects. The latter were used to produce a short list of promising occupational alternatives (the indirectly derived list), using the occupational database of an Internet-based career planning system. Each occupation in the database rated for sex dominance. The findings indicated that the sex dominance ratings of the occupations on the directly reported list accorded with the participants' gender for both men and women: Men's lists included mostly “masculine” occupations, whereas women's lists included mostly “feminine” occupations. This gender bias was significantly lower for the implicit lists. The difference between the directly reported and the indirectly derived lists was larger for women than for men, suggesting that the impact of stereotypes is more pronounced in women's than in men's directly reported career preferences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)902-922
Number of pages21
JournalCounseling Psychologist
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes


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