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Special Issue: Identifying Barriers and Building Bridges
Published: 27-12-2023

Gender Differences in Aspirations and Attainment: Towards an Integrative Socio-Ecological Developmental Systems Approach

University College London
Gender aspirations attainment integrative socio-ecological developmental systems approach

Abstract

Significant progress has been made regarding educational and occupational opportunities for women. Yet, gender segregation continues to exist in many domains, including occupational choices, division of household responsibilities, and differences in paid and unpaid labour. A number of explanations have been made to account for the enduring gender inequalities, including gender essentialism, socialisation experiences, prevailing stereotypes, as well as downright discrimination. In this paper, I consider an INtegrative socio-ecological DEvelopmental Systems Approach (INDESA) and argue that for a better understanding of and to effectively address persisting gender inequalities, one must consider the multiple influences that shape individual development over time and in context. Gender differences become evident in early childhood and are perpetuated through everyday interactions with significant others and the wider social context. Small biasing effects can accumulate across different situations and over time, resulting in distinct behavioural pathways for men and women, even for those with similar abilities and social backgrounds. To initiate change in perceptions and behaviour, it is crucial to address multiple interlinked inequalities that occur across the life course and to actively foster policies and institutional reforms that promote equality.

How to Cite

Schoon, I. (2023). Gender Differences in Aspirations and Attainment: Towards an Integrative Socio-Ecological Developmental Systems Approach . International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology, 15(3), 242–263. Retrieved from https://genderandset.open.ac.uk/index.php/genderandset/article/view/1501