At the Intersection of Gender and Family Type: Does Family Structure Matter for Gendered Educational Aspirations?
We conduct empirical analyses based on survey data of upper secondary school students (N = 2445) in their pre-final and final year at school in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. The data was gathered within a project of the Swiss National Foundation Research Programme on “Gender Equality” (NRP 60). Our empirical analysis of vocational aspirations towards STEMM professions involves two steps. First, the different types of families are compared with respect to the percentage of male and female offspring with a gender-typical vocational aspiration. Second, more complex mechanisms are investigated in light of multivariate analyses (controlling for socio-economic status). Results of the descriptive analyses show that gendered vocational aspirations do not vary by family structure, while multivariate analyses indicate a weak effect for girls: if they are raised by their mother only, they are more likely to aspire a gender-typical profession and less likely to aspire a STEMM profession.