Date

6-2013

Degree Name

BS in Social Sciences

Department

Social Sciences Department

Advisor(s)

Ryan Alaniz

Abstract

Two hundred and one students from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo completed a one page survey regarding their role models and expectations for life after graduation in order to gain insight on the gender differences that are present within the student community. The results were analyzed using cross tabulations in IBM SPSS and supported the hypotheses (1) traditional gender roles, such as men as the provider and women as the domestic caretaker, will be reflected by survey respondents, and (2) due to a lack of female role models for women in professional fields, women are less likely than men to be listed as professional role models. A literature review discusses the history of women in higher education and the influence of gender norms on the United Stated education system, and details on the current status of women in United States society, the limitations for women and men because of culturally imposed gender roles, and solutions and methods for actively breaking down gender norms and expectations are also provided. The progressiveness and influence of the Gender Equity Center (which emphasizes both healthy masculinity and femininity and open campus dialogues about issues pertaining to gender) at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, is also discussed.