An Examination of the Influences of Gender Stereotyping on a Bucknell University Student's Career Aspirations

Emily Vislosky, Bucknell University


The purpose of this study is to determine the perceived impact students believe professors have on their choice of future pursuits. The purpose was not to answer a question, but rather to inform discussions of the topic of gendering on Bucknell’s campus. This study used a mixed-methods approach; however, it began with a autoethnographic look at the researcher’s own experiences. This allowed for a better understanding of the researcher’s own subjectivity within the context of the study and bring awareness to possible themes that might be found within the results of the survey. Analysis of these themes allow for the results of the study to be understood as an impact on the researcher herself as well as the other subjects.

The subjects were students from Bucknell University who were in the midst of pursuing their undergraduate education. All students were asked to participate in the study in order to achieve a random sample of students that would best represent the Bucknell population. The students were administered the survey through the use of Bucknell Qualtrics. They were asked a series of questions to determine whether or not they perceived a different treatment by professors as a result of their gender and how this might come to impact the careers that they chose to pursue after graduation. In total, 69 students participated in the study.

The results of the study suggest that while students feel they were affected by gendering during their time at Bucknell, it was not something that impacted their decisions to work toward the careers they were originally planning to pursue. There was not a statistically significant relationship between gender and any of the quantitative variables in the study. However, the qualitative responses did show that students noticed gender differences on Bucknell’s campus and shared narratives of the ways in which they had seen this within their classroom experiences.