Chloe McGovern ‘22
Major: Psychology, Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Bio: Chloe McGovern is from Westfield, New Jersey. Chloe is a current senior at Fordham College Lincoln Center double majoring in Psychology and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She plans to attend an Industrial-Organizational Masters program in the fall. Chloe currently does administrative work for a non-profit organization called The Animation Project (TAP) and is passionate about investigating gender dynamics in the workplace.
Title of Research: Female College Students' Beliefs on Gendered Power Dynamics
Mentor: Dr. Selin Gülgöz, Department of Psychology
Abstract: Male-dominated spaces are found in all areas of society. Research continues to question whether this is a result of self-selection related to perceptions of authority, specifically the perceptions of female-identifying individuals. Female-identifying college students in male-dominated fields may prefer women in positions of authority due to in-group bias (Simon & Hoyt, 2006; Vial et al., 2016). Though female-identifying college students in male-dominated fields may alternatively prefer men in positions of authority due to the incongruity of gender roles with women in authority positions (Geis et al, 1985; Rudman & Kilianski, 2000). However, there is the possibility that one’s field of study, male-dominated vs. non-male-dominated, may have no significant relationship to female college students’ opinions on authority figures (Dresden et al., 2018). This study aims to add to our understanding of female-identifying college students' opinions in male-dominated spaces. 41 participants in majors classified as male-dominated and 207 participants in majors classified as non-male-dominated completed the Gender and Authority Measure (GAM). Using major classification from Kugler et al. (2021), participants in male-dominated majors (M = 2.11) compared to those in non-male-dominated majors (M = 2.09) demonstrated no statistically different GAM scores. Our findings suggest there is no relationship between female-identifying college students’ chosen field of study and gender preference of authority figures. Further research investigating female-identifying individuals’ experiences in male-dominated environments may be useful in understanding why these environments remain male-dominated.