Sexism and career aspirations of Japanese university students
Experimental research on gender differences in career ambitions and task performance shows that women tend to show less motivation and performance when future task are presented in a way that insinuates possible gender differences. This effect can be observed no matter whether the respective passages are embedded in openly discriminating statements on alleged shortcomings of women (hostile sexism), positive statements about their alleged qualities (benevolent sexism) or even neutral passages. Studies in the western context even seem to indicate that the task performance of female participants in certain tasks suffers most when positive traits traditionally associated with women (such as a willingness to compromise and empathy) are explicitly mentioned.
The present project echoes previous studies with a sample of highly educated students in the Japanese context and extends them by integrating business game elements. It is also designed to provide a snapshot of how deep-rooted sexist convictions and traditional gender role perceptions undermine the Japanese government’s efforts to increase female labor market participation.