Interpretations of sex differences in work centrality among kibbutz members

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Six intervening clusters of variables are identified as explanations for the recurrent finding that work is a less central domain in the life of kibbutz women as compared to men: (a) education; (b) being part-time workers; (c) family-work conflict; (d) frustration from having degrading jobs; (e) socialization and social influences; and (f) natural dispositions expressed in a biogrammar that emphasizes other domains of life. Since the first three variables are not sex differentiated in the Israeli kibbutz, and data are not available for a good test of the fourth, the kibbutz setting is used to test the validity of the remaining two. Data for five male-female age groups from three kibbutz studies are reanalyzed in order to compare cross-age sex differences in reactions toward work and life, and sex differences in the statistical relationship between variables of the work domain and variables of well-being. A widening sex difference, with age, in the relation between work and well-being would seem to indicate support for explanation e, while a decrease in sex differences would indicate support for explanation f. The results seem to support explanation e. Alternative interpretations of the results are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-310
Number of pages24
JournalSex Roles
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Sep 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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