Maaike van der Vleuten (ICS-UU, yeargroup 2013) will defend her dissertation on Friday 19 January 2018 at 04:15 PM in the Utrecht University Hall. The title of her dissertation is: Gendered Choices. Fields of study of adolescents in the Netherlands.
This dissertation provides insight in the different ways in which adolescents’ social environment affects field of study choices, with a specific focus on how it leads boys and girls to different fields of study. It looks at the role of internalized gender ideologies as well as the influence of parents, siblings, and friends. Gender role socialization and resource theory are used to explain the influence of adolescents’ social environment. In line with gender role socialization theory, adolescents’ internalized gender ideology, friends and mothers lead to gender differences in fields of study. In line with resource theory, siblings and fathers influence field of study choices, but not in a way that contributes to gender inequality in educational fields. This dissertation shows that normative ideas of what is “appropriate” male or female behavior are influential for both boys’ and girls’ educational choices, but that the consequences of these norms appear more severe for girls than for boys. Suggestions are formulated to tackle the persuasiveness of these gender norms in order to reduce gender differences in fields of study.