n Gender and Behaviour - The moderating effects of age and education on gender differences on gender role perceptions




Individual differences in gender role perceptions have been described copiously in the psychological literature. The effects of education and gender have been established cross-culturally. The joint effects of education and gender have not however been discussed adequately, especially among African populations where there are strong expectations of these effects. In the current study, we explored these known effects among a heterogeneous urban population. Four hundred and seventy-six (476) respondents made up of high and low education groups were selected for this study. We examined the extent to which men and women will adopt traditional/egalitarian gender role attitudes and if age and education moderate established gender differences in gender role attitudes using Williams and Best's (1990) traditional and modern gender role scale. We found differences on traditional gender role perceptions based on education. We also found that while there was no gender difference on the traditional component, education seemed to minimise females' perceptions of traditional roles but not males. We did observe that both females and young adults endorsed more modern perceptions of gender roles. The results seemed to support the notion that males are less likely to change from socialisation practices that encourage male hegemony. Implications of the findings are discussed.


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