Attitudes among Students towards Gender Beliefs and Moral Values at Higher Learning Institutions in Malaysia


The study attempts to measure the student’s gender role attitudes towards equality on ability, beliefs and moral values aspects in a total of 300 students from two higher learning institutions in Malaysia. Self-administered semi-structured questionnaires were handed to each respondent and the information was collected directly by the researchers. The survey questions included student’s gender attitudes towards equality on the aspects of belief, ability and moral values. Results revealed that on belief aspect the most favourable attitude towards equality was in terms of “Boys and girls can perform all tasks equally well” (63.6 percent agree, M = 3.64; SD = 1.00). Similarly, on ability aspects, more favourable attitude was in terms of “Boys and girls should have equal opportunity and should not be treated differently” (77.03% agree M = 3.98; SD = 0.97). The results on student’s gender attitudes towards equality on moral aspects showed that more favourable attitude was in terms of “Boys and girls should have equal opportunity, according to their needs” (88.3% agree, M = 4.15; SD = 0.80). Moreover, the results revealed that beliefs were correlated with the demographic variables such as age (r = 0.29; p < 0.01), race (r = 0.17; p < 0.05) and education (r = 0.21; p < 0.05) while abilities were co-related to gender (r = 0.19; p < 0.01) and education (r = 0.01; p < 0.05). Moral values were also correlated with gender (r = 0.24; p < 0.01), race (r = 0.28; p < 0.01) and hometown (r = 0.174; p < 0.01). With respect to gender beliefs and value aspects, although an overwhelming acceptance was observed among student’s attitudes, traditional norms were noted especially on ability aspects. Given the importance of the student’s favourable attitude towards equality that would assist to achieve equality between men and women in the community, several suggestions are made.

Share and Cite:

Yaacob, A. (2015) Attitudes among Students towards Gender Beliefs and Moral Values at Higher Learning Institutions in Malaysia. Open Access Library Journal, 2, 1-8. doi: 10.4236/oalib.1101133.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Shalhoub-Kevorkian, N. (2000) Blocking Her Exclusion: A Contextually Sensitive Model for Handling Female Abuse. Social Service Review, 74, 620-643.
[2] Fernea, E. (1985) Women and the Family in the Middle East: New Voices of Change. University of Texas Press, Austin.
[3] Bazik, N.A. (2001) Gender Role Attitudes in Youth. Noemi Enchautegui de Jesus, American University.
[4] Lindsey, L.L. (1994) Gender Roles: A Sociological Perspective. 2nd Edition, Prentice-Hall, Englewood.
[5] Hussein, J.W. (2004) A Cultural Representation of Women in the Oromo Society. African Study Monographs, 25, 103-147.
[6] Sultana, A.M. (2010) Patriarchy and Women’s Gender Ideology: A Socio-Cultural Perspective. Journal of Social Sciences, 6, 123-126.
[7] Lueptow, L.B., Garovich-Szabo, L. and Lueptow, M.B. (2001) Social Change and the Persistence of Sex Typing 1974-1997. Social Forces, 80, 1-35.
[8] Hoffman, M.R. and Borders, D.L. (2001) Twenty-Five Years after the Bem Sex-Role Inventory: A Reassessment and New Issues Regarding Classification Variability. Measurement & Evaluation in Counselling & Development, 34, 39-59.
[9] Noorazida, Z.M., et al. (2014) Gender Role Conflicts among Malay Adolescent Boys in Malaysia. International Medical Journal, 21, 1-3.
[10] Brod, H., Ed. (1987) The Making of Masculinities: The New Men’s Studies. Allen & Unwin, Boston.
[11] Gilmore, D.D. (1990) Manhood in the Making: Cultural Concepts of Masculinity. Yale University Press, New Haven.
[12] Hashim, R.S., Yusof, N.Md., Hamdan, S.I. and Raihanah, M.M. (2011) Rethinking Malaysian Perspectives of Gender Constructions through Ethnographic-Oriented Approach. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 18, 420-426.
[13] Belk, S.S. and Snell, W.E. (1986) Beliefs about Women: Components and Correlates. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 12, 403-413.
[14] Prarthana, P. and Jonathan, B. (1996) Measurement of Gender-Role Attitudes, Beliefs, and Principles. University of Pennsylvania, Unpublished.
[15] Bryant, A.N. (2003) Changes in Attitudes toward Women’s Roles: Predicting Gender-Role Traditionalism among College Students. Sex Roles, 48, 131-142.
[16] Audra, L. (2007) Women’s Gender Role Attitudes: Association of Demographic Characteristics, Work Related Factors and Life Satisfaction. Unpublished Master’s Thesis, University of North Texas.

Copyright © 2022 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.