Does Integration Change Gender Attitudes? The Effect of Randomly Assigning Women to Traditionally Male Teams

43 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2018

See all articles by Gordon B. Dahl

Gordon B. Dahl

UC San Diego - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Andreas Kotsadam

University of Oslo - Department of Economics; Norwegian Social Research

Dan-Olof Rooth

University of Kalmar; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Abstract

We examine whether exposure of men to women in a traditionally male-dominated environment can change attitudes about mixed-gender productivity, gender roles and gender identity. Our context is the military in Norway, where we randomly assigned female recruits to some squads but not others during boot camp. We find that living and working with women for 8 weeks causes men to adopt more egalitarian attitudes. There is 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 increase in men who do not completely disavow feminine traits.Contrary to the predictions of many policymakers, we find no evidence that integrating women into squads hurt male recruits' satisfaction with boot camp or their plans to continue in the military. These findings provide evidence that even in a highly gender-skewed environment, gender stereotypes are malleable and can be altered by integrating members of the opposite sex.

Keywords: gender attitudes, occupational segregation, contact theory

JEL Classification: J16, J24

Suggested Citation

Dahl, Gordon B. and Kotsadam, Andreas and Rooth, Dan-Olof, Does Integration Change Gender Attitudes? The Effect of Randomly Assigning Women to Traditionally Male Teams. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11323, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3129267

Gordon B. Dahl (Contact Author)

UC San Diego - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Andreas Kotsadam

University of Oslo - Department of Economics ( email )

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Norway

Norwegian Social Research ( email )

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Oslo
Norway

Dan-Olof Rooth

University of Kalmar ( email )

Sweden

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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