London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Feminization and democratization: The influence of occupation perceptions on orientation choices in medical studies

Author(s) Avenel, C.  
Publisher London: CiCe  
Year 2011  
Editor P. Cunningham & N. Fretwell, Europe's Future: Citizenship in a Changing World  
Age group -  
This paper analyses feminization and democratisation through the orientation choices process for medicine studies. Our study, based on questionnaires with a sample of 176 scientific final year pupils of the Montpellier academy, focuses on gender-based differences in orientation choices and projects for girls and boys in medicine. We hypothesize that the increase of female students obtaining a scientific secondary school diploma does not have an immediate mechanical consequence on the feminization of medical studies. Moreover, for girls, traditional gender-based perceptions of female abilities for care-taking, plays an essential role in orientation choices in medicine. Our results confirm female career and orientation choices more precisely, but also confirm previous research results, and indicate that the girls seem to have more precise curriculum and career orientation choices than boys, yet gender-based perceptions persist. They are more likely than boys to aspire to choosing medical studies but seem to be more cautious about the affirmation of academic self-esteem. This paper aims to analyse this paradox: why the feminization isn’t synonymous with democratisation and the perpetuation of gender-based divisions in occupations. Keywords: Feminisation, democratisation, orientation choices, gender-based perceptions of occupations

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