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1.1 The Study’s Background

Gender is commonly used to describe how society assigns certain duties to boys and females. Gender refers to behaviours that have come to be associated with masculinity and femininity, as well as how people see their roles as male or female (Kauffman, 1997). As a result, gender is linked to how people perceive themselves in such a way that most people of the same sex identify with particular characteristics.

These characteristics have an impact on children as they grow. Without a doubt, the environment in which a youngster finds himself or herself has a significant impact on the child. Girls and boys are treated differently at birth, according to Berk (2010). Girls are dressed in pink, and parents are compassionate with their daughters. Boys, on the other hand, are clad in blue fabrics, and their parents are stricter with them.

In the course of treating children differently, girls are given more sex stereotypical toys, and these children, without a doubt, grow up looking and acting differently. This is consistent with the findings of Kauchak and Eggen (2011), who indicated that male children are perceived as more attractive and tougher, and that parents are rougher with their boys and involve them in more physical stimulation than their female children.

Gender stereotyping refers to broad categories that reflect our perceptions and ideas about men and women. All stereotypes (whether based on gender, ethnicity, or other groups) represent the image of a typical member of a specific social category. Gender stereotyping is classified into four dimensions: attributes, physical characteristics, behaviour, and jobs.

Stereotypes lead to labels like soft or harsh. Women may be labelled as “soft,” while men may be labelled as “hard.” However, once labels are issued, they are exceedingly difficult to remove. However, many preconceptions are broad and imprecise (Almiskry et al., 2009).
Gender stereotypes stem from gender roles, which define female and male tasks. Males are assigned masculine roles, while females are assigned feminine roles. In a given society, both men and women are expected to do certain tasks. The society or culture in which an individual lives essentially constructs these positions.

These roles are determined by the individual’s gender. Females are assigned duties such as child care, cooking, and food production, whereas males are assigned roles such as family protection, house construction, paid employment, cash crop cultivation, and business (Archer & Lloyd 2002).

Women and men appear to have been raised in all countries, western and nonwestern, to believe in and adhere to gender norms that are given to them on a daily basis. These ideas are so deeply embedded in both men and women that they influence their career choices (Otunga, 1996). According to Nasania (2004), the greater the consistency, duration, and intensity with which a description of an actor is advocated by others, the greater the possibility that the actor will embrace that definition as actually applicable to himself/herself (324).

This appears to be the case in communities with young females or males. For example, Jacobs (2005) argues along these lines when he claims that it is not only overt socialisation or covert prejudicial attitudes held by society that prevent females from entering skilled jobs, but that the women themselves lack the courage to enter the field because the requirements for successful performance in such areas are incongruent with how they see themselves.

According to Hansen (2009), external forces that influence an individual’s profession decision are also influenced by significant others through social support from peers. According to Young (1999), young individuals learn about and explore jobs through contact with the contexts of family, school, and community, which ultimately leads to their career decision. According to Zacharia (2008), teenagers’ aspirations are influenced by their parents’ aspirations or expectations. Parental encouragement and support are crucial elements that have been demonstrated to impact profession choice. Children may pick what they want just to satisfy their parents (Sounders, 1999).

According to Zacharia (2008) and Nasania (2004), students in rural areas seek support from parents more than urban students, and parents, rather than teachers, play a big impact in students’ career choices. In general, traditional gender stereotyping, parents, and friends, among other influences, impact profession choice; nonetheless, variances arise from one group to the next.

Students are frequently given a list of jobs from which to choose before making their career decisions. Most kids lack enough information about numerous vocations, so their decisions are based on traditional gender stereotyping and the courses they learn in high school. The only assistance students receive at school comes from counsellors, instructors, and, most of the time, their parents, who are mostly referred to and expected to encourage students in their career decision.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Secondary school students frequently get incorrect or misleading information regarding employment options to assist them in making good career choices, and as a result, some of them rely on old gender stereotyping views. It was usual practise in the past to turn feudalism into a family issue, with the son of a blacksmith bound to become a blacksmith and a feudal born a leader.

However, industrialization and post-industrialization have enabled the average individual to get richer as long as she or he possesses the necessary skills and information (Tomlinson, & Evans 1999). Today, in order to adapt to changing socioeconomic situations, one must not only conduct thorough career research but also conduct extensive career planning.

Most of the time, women are seen as the weak ones and are not given the best opportunities they require when choosing a career; people believe that even with all of the degrees a woman may have, she will end up in a man’s kitchen; this type of stereotype, however, gets into the heads of some secondary girls if adequate support from the right people is not provided. Most female students eventually learn a trade, and some simply choose a career path that is not their dream; it is in response to this problem that the researcher decided to conduct this study on the effect of gender stereotyping on career choice among secondary school students, using Ovia North LGA as a case study.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The primary goal of this study is to determine the impact of gender stereotyping on secondary school students’ profession choices. More specifically, the study intends to:

1. Determine how knowledgeable the pupils are about career options.

2. Discover the origins of gender stereotypes in Nigeria.

3. Investigate the impact of gender stereotypes on student job choices.

4. Determine the differences in secondary school students’ profession choices.

1.4 Research Concerns

1. How aware are the kids about professional options?

2. What is the origin of gender stereotypes in Nigeria?

3. Is there a major effect of gender stereotype on student career choice?

4. Is there a difference in secondary school pupils’ career choices?

1.5 Hypothesis of Research

Ho: there is no significant effect of gender stereotype on student career choice.

Hello, there is a considerable effect of gender stereotype on student career choice.

1.6 Importance of the Research

The findings of this study will serve as the foundation for developing a career counselling intervention programme to reduce gender stereotyping among secondary school students. More importantly, the outcomes of this study will assist secondary school students in making sensible career decisions free of stereotyped preconceptions. Furthermore, the findings are likely to serve as the foundation for future studies on gender stereotypes and student job choice. The findings of the study will also contribute new knowledge to the field of social psychology as well as to the existing literature on profession choice.

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