Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

JoNell Strough


The present study examined the relation between the prevalence of sex segregation, or the division of men and women within social interactions, and young adults' gender-typed attitudes. Specifically, gender-typed attitudes about the occupations that are preferred for the self and viewed as appropriate for others were investigated. The objectives of the current study were partially based on the suggestion that gender-typed attitudes may be a consequence, as well as a cause, of sex segregation (McHale, Kim, Whiteman, & Crouter, 2004). The gender-typed personality traits of expressivity (i.e., traits typically associated with femininity; e.g., being emotional) and instrumentality (i.e., traits typically associated with masculinity; e.g., being assertive) were examined as mediators of the relation between sex segregation and gender-typed attitudes about occupations. Activity preferences, or the activities that individuals choose to engage in, was also investigated as a mediator of the relation between sex segregation and gender-typed attitudes about occupations. Participants were 284 young adult college students between 18 to 23 years who completed questionnaires for the study online. The results indicated that men and women have more same-sex friends than other-sex friends. The frequency of sex segregation was found to be partially dependent on factors such as sex and context of the interaction (i.e., school vs. "hanging out"). Furthermore, men and women were found to have gender-typed attitudes about occupations viewed as appropriate for the self and for others. Overall, sex segregation was not found to be related to gender-typed attitudes about occupations. Reasons for these findings are discussed. Additionally, the potential consequences of the findings are discussed in relation to the continuing sex segregation that is observed within many occupations.