Research Seminar: Lucia Corno (Università Cattolica, Milano)

Title: “Parents and Peers: Gender Stereotypes in the field of Study” (with M. Carlana)

  • Date: 11 May 2021 from 12:00 to 13:15

  • Event location: Microsoft Teams


Fields of study are still strongly gender-segregated in most contexts. In this paper, we study the role of parents and peers in affecting gender stereotypical choices of students. Using a lab-in-the-field experiment, we randomly expose students to different sets of information before they choose among a female-typed task (literature) and male-typed task (math). First, we find that students conform more to the gender stereotypical choice (boys math and girls - literature) when they are induced to think about the same-gender parents, especially when they believe their parents would recommend a gender-stereotypical choice. Second, we do not find evidence that students change their decision when they expect their classmates to observe their choice. However, if female students are aware they will have to interact with classmates choosing the same subject, they shy away from a male-typed field where they would be a minority. This experiment highlights the important role of parents and interaction with peers in adolescents’ decision making regarding the choice of field.

Invited by: Research Seminar Team

Local Organizer: Massimiliano Onorato

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