Here is what I am working on right now …
Culture, Values & Men’s Career Evaluations
Whereas women have moved into male-stereotypical jobs at an astounding rate in the last decades, men have continued to show little interest in female-stereotypical occupations such as nursing or teaching (H.E.E.D.). Together with Alyssa Croft and Toni Schmader, I developed a theoretical framework for understanding barriers to a communal orientation in men (Croft, Block, & Schmader, 2015). In my Master’s thesis, I show that this gender difference in interests in female-stereotypical careers, but also a gender difference as perceiving these careers as broadly valuable, is partly explained by men’s lower communal values. My current work focuses on the role of national norms and values in how men and women evaluate HEED as personally interesting and broadly value (READ more about our large cross-national study). Together with Dr. Andrew Scott Baron and Antonya Gonzalez, I am also examining the development of gender difference in communal goals and future career interest in children. We are especially interested in how communal goals and interest in HEED (healthcare, education and domestic) roles vs. STEM careers become tied to gender identity at the implicit level.
Gender Stereotypes and Self-concept
Part of my work broadly focuses how our own explicit and implicit in-group stereotypes influence how we think about ourselves (our self-concept). Specifically, I am trying to understand how gender stereotypes shape men’s and women’s, but also boys’ and girl’s, self-concepts. I look at this both in terms of domain self-concept (Do I identify with STEM or more with Teaching or Healthcare?) and more basic value self-concept (How important is caring and nurturing to me?). I hope to better understand how and when stereotype change can lead to self-concept changes.
Together with Andy Baron, I am also exploring the relationship between gender stereotype-change and self-concept change in children. We have developed an intervention that successfully changed children’s implicit gender-math stereotypes, and are now following up on what this means for girls’ personal identification with math.
Culture of Honor, Precarious Manhood, and Sexism
Together with Dr. Steven Heine, I am exploring the relationship between culture of honor and gender roles. Previous research suggests that honor culture is tied to displays of violent masculinity, and sometimes condoning of violence against women. I believe that honor culture and the ecology giving rise to honor culture may generally lead to sexist attitudes and status differentials between men and women because it makes manhood precarious.