Master of Arts in Higher Education Theses

Date of Award

2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Carol Sisson

Second Advisor

Tim Herrmann

Third Advisor

Scott Moeschberger

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to understand the impact Evangelical gender roles have on college females’ vocational aspirations. The participants were divided into two groups based on common Evangelical gender roles, Complementarianism and Egalitarianism. Groups were determined by the participants’ responses to a gender role ideology inventory that was completed prior to qualitative interviews with the researcher. The research was guided by one research question:

1) How do Evangelical gender role perspectives impact college females’ vocational aspirations?

The study was rooted in grounded theory; therefore a core story emerged from participants: Evangelical college females heard conflicting messages and internalized contradicting expectations, which led to compromise in future vocational aspirations involving career, education, and motherhood. The core story was further supported by the major themes that emerged including: the influence of family, confusion over the roles of a woman, the influence of Evangelical culture, and the resulting impact on vocation of career, education, motherhood, and civic engagement. Implications for practice include suggestions on how to better prepare women for the balance of career, motherhood, and civic pursuits.

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