Case-study research has produced inconsistent results concerning how much men's exodus contributes to occupational feminization. In their study of eleven feminizing occupations, Reskin and Roos (1990, p.
These developments make the 1970s an important time period for studying occupational feminization. Therefore, this research explores a slice of this process of occupational feminization by examining if the change in the percent female of occupations between 1970 and 1980 affected men's departures from January 1982 to January 1983.
These measures were used to describe the sex composition of the occupations of the male workers studied and to test two hypotheses about men's occupational movement and occupational feminization. The first hypothesis focuses on leaving versus staying in occupations that may have or may not have feminized in order to tests Rotella's (1987) contention that men do not leave feminizing occupations.
H1: Occupational feminization will not increase men's departures.
Was Rotella right or wrong when she speculated on the occupational feminization and men's departures?
Although the data did not allow me to examine class differences,(7) I explored the possibility that the relationship between occupational feminization and men's departures differed by race.
Although occupational feminization and men's departures differed by race, the data on both white and black men support Rotella's hypothesis because neither group of men left feminizing occupations.
If male abandonment contributed to occupational feminization, it occurred because sufficient numbers of men failed to enter the occupations, not because they left them.
Thus, the results indicate that occupational feminization did not push men to leave nor did it deter these occupational changers from entering occupations.
As discussed earlier, two situations of male abandonment could have contributed to occupational feminization: incumbent male workers may have left these occupations or an insufficient number of men may have entered these occupations.
More than ten years is needed for the process of occupational feminization to be completed and more than one year is needed to capture men's movement out of feminizing occupations.
Furthermore, because occupational feminization is just one possible condition that might affect men's occupational movement, multivariate analysis is needed.