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Men in pink collars: Stereotype threat and disengagement among male teachers and child protection workers

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European Journal of Social Psychology

Published online on


Male employees are a traditionally advantaged group, but when working in a female‐dominated industry they may be vulnerable to negative gender stereotypes. The current research examined stereotype threat among men in two traditionally feminine jobs. Study 1 measured stereotype threat among primary school teachers and found that men experienced more stereotype threat than women, and that feelings of stereotype threat were related to negative job attitudes for men but not women. Study 2 manipulated the direction of social comparisons to elicit stereotype threat among male child protection workers. For men but not women, upward social comparisons with a successful feminine target elicited stereotype threat. In turn, stereotype threat was associated with intentions to resign and feeling expected to perform stereotypic masculine work tasks. These results suggest that despite their advantaged status, men in pink‐collar jobs are susceptible to workplace stereotype threat.