Women and Public Policy Program Seminar Series

Gender and Security Seminar Series: Does Integration Change Gender Attitudes? The Effect of Randomly Assigning Women to Traditionally Male Teams with Dr. Andreas Kotsadam

October 2, 2017

Join us for the first installment of the Gender and Security Seminar Series. In this seminar, Andreas Kotsadam examines whether the exposure of men to women in a traditionally male-dominated environment can change gendered attitudes. The context is the military in Norway, where female recruits were randomly assigned to some squads but not others during boot camp. Findings show that living and working with women for 8 weeks caused men to adopt more egalitarian attitudes. Specifically, there was a 14 percentage point increase in the fraction of men who think mixed-gender teams perform as well or better than same-gender teams, an 8 percentage point increase in men who think household work should be shared equally and a 14 percentage point reduction in men who strongly disavow feminine traits. Contrary to what many policymakers have predicted, there is no evidence that integrating women into squads hurt male recruits' satisfaction with boot camp or their plans to continue in the military. These findings demonstrate that even in a highly gender-skewed environment, gender stereotypes are malleable and can be altered by integrating members of the opposite sex.

 

Andreas Kotsadam, Senior Researcher, The Frisch Centre; Affiliated Researcher, Department of Economics, University of Oslo

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