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MEN AND WOMEN SPECIAL EDUCATION ADMINISTRATORS: DISCREPANCIES BETWEEN PERCEPTIONS OF THE IDEAL ADMINISTRATOR AND SELF-EVALUATIONS, IN TERMS OF TRADITIONAL SEX-ROLE TRAITS
The study examined the relationship between sex-role stereotypes and the perceptions of special education administrators about their work. From the literature, the study presumed that men and women would hold similar perceptions of their administrative role, perceptions more like the male stereotype than the female stereotype. The study also presumed that women would hold different self-evaluations than men, relative to this role. These premises were tested with five null hypotheses. Perceptions were measured, and discrepancies between "ideal" and self-evaluations were derived, in an ex post facto, non-experimental design. The study adapted the Broverman Sex-Role Questionnaire, designed to measure perceptions about men and women in terms of sex-role stereotypes. Participants included 215 New England special education administrators, responding to surveys mailed to a stratified random sample of 393. Items in the survey were designated "male-valued" or "female-valued," according to Broverman's findings that these traits are commonly perceived to be characteristic of, and socially desirable for, men or women. Three of the five null hypotheses were accepted. The study found that the men and women respondents did not hold different views of their role, and that neither age nor years of experience was a significant factor in self-evaluations. Two of the null hypotheses were rejected. The respondents reported their professional role more like the male sex role than the female sex role. Also, compared to men, women respondents reported a significantly greater discrepancy between the role and self-evaluations, relative to the male-valued traits. The findings suggest the following: that perceptions of the role of special education administrator reflect a generalized "male-oriented" school administrator role; that these perceptions are less a reflection of the specific responsibilities of the special education administrator; that women tend toward significantly lower self-evaluations on many traits perceived as most important to this role; that men and women hold similar self-perceptions for female-valued traits associated with the role. Implications for training and directions for future research in special education administration were discussed.
HOLMES, M. DENISE, "MEN AND WOMEN SPECIAL EDUCATION ADMINISTRATORS: DISCREPANCIES BETWEEN PERCEPTIONS OF THE IDEAL ADMINISTRATOR AND SELF-EVALUATIONS, IN TERMS OF TRADITIONAL SEX-ROLE TRAITS" (1983). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI8401023.