Off-campus South Dakota State University users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your South Dakota State University ID and password.

Non-South Dakota State University users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Sociology and Rural Studies

First Advisor

Donna J. Hess


Little is actually known about this trend of women entering into gender atypical areas of study because it is so recent. Thus, the main purpose of this study is to examine the trend of women moving into one non-traditional area of study, agriculture, and to examine the social and demographic characteristics of women who choose to study agriculture. The study has been conducted at SDSU, with samples of both male and female students from introductory agriculture classes. This has permitted comparisons and contrasts to be drawn between male and female students who are beginning their studies in agriculture.
Research Problem This study is particularly concerned with female students who enroll in agricultural curricula at SDSU. The specific problem addressed is as follows: To what extent are female students who enter into the study of agriculture at South Dakota State University similar to each other in terms of: (1) support and encouragement received from family, teachers and counselors, and peers; (2) their beliefs about appropriate and inappropriate male and female roles; and (3) their social and demographic background characteristics?
Objectives The objectives of the study are as follows:
1) To determine if female and male students enrolled in beginning agricultural courses are similar to or different from one another in their gender-role attitudes and orientations;
2) To determine if female students in agriculture are more likely than male students to have mothers involved in non-traditional occupations;
3)To determine if female and male students are likely to aspire to the same majors in an agricultural curriculum; and
4) To determine if female and male students in agriculture are likely to aspire to similar occupations in agriculture or agriculturally-related fields.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

South Dakota State University - Curricula
Women college students
Agricultural education
Women in agriculture
Sex differences in education



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University