An examination of gender imbalance in Scottish adolescents’ vocational interests

Laurence Lasselle*, Stijn Schelfhout, Lot Fonteyne, Graham Kirby, Ian Smith, Wouter Duyck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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This paper documents Scottish adolescents’ vocational interest types. Our research is based on the responses of 1,306 pupils from 18 secondary schools to an empirically verified online interest inventory test. Our results are threefold. First, the structural validity of the test with the Scottish sample is confirmed by evaluating the underlying circumplex structure of Holland’s RIASEC vocational interests. Second, gender distribution along the six primary vocational interest dimensions is consistent with the research literature: young men scoring higher on the Realistic vocational interest and young women scoring higher on the Social dimension. Finally, we observe that across dimensions, vocational interests of young women are less diverse than those of young men. We discuss how these dissimilarities could lead to differences in education choice and career decision-making.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0257723
Number of pages18
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sept 2021


  • Holland types
  • Gender differences
  • Diversity
  • Secondary education


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