Does Integration Change Gender Attitudes? The Effect of Randomly Assigning Women to Traditionally Male Teams


Friday, September 29, 2017, 10:00am to 11:30am


1 Brattle Street, 3rd Floor Conference Room (Room 350), Cambridge, MA

Join us for the first installment of the Gender and Security Seminar Series, a discussion with Dr. Andreas Kotsadam, Senior Researcher at The Frisch Centre and Affiliated Researcher at the Department of Economics at the University of Oslo. Light breakfast to be served.

Dr. Kotsadam's research examines whether exposure of men to women in a traditionally male-dominated environment can change gendered attitudes. The context is the military in Norway, where female recruits were randomly assigned to some squads but not others during boot camp. Findings show that living and working with women for 8 weeks caused men to adopt more egalitarian attitudes. Specifically, there was a 14 percentage point increase in the fraction of men who think mixed-gender teams perform as well or better than same-gender teams, an 8 percentage point increase in men who think household work should be shared equally and a 14 percentage point reduction in men who strongly disavow feminine traits. Contrary to what many policymakers have predicted, there is no evidence that integrating women into squads hurt male recruits' satisfaction with boot camp or their plans to continue in the military. These findings demonstrate that even in a highly gender-skewed environment, gender stereotypes are malleable and can be altered by integrating members of the opposite sex.


andreas-kotsadamAbout Dr. Andreas Kotsadam

Andreas Kotsadam is a Senior Researcher at The Frisch Centre in Oslo.

Kotsadam holds a PhD in Economics and is a broad social scientist interested in inequality, economic development, and conflict. He has published extensively in different academic disciplines, including The American Journal of Political Science, Social Forces, The European Economic Review, and World Development. You can read more about his research at his homepage:


About the Gender and Security Seminar Series

The Gender and Security Seminar Series, coordinated by Dara Kay Cohen, Associate Professor of Public Policy, brings leading experts from academia and the policy world, working at the intersection of gender, human rights, and security, to Harvard Kennedy School. Speakers discuss their research in progress or share their perspectives on current policy debates. The seminar series covers issues of national security during the fall semester and international security during the spring semester. The series is co-sponsored by four centers at HKS: the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Carr Center for Human Rights, and Women and Public Policy Program.


Save the Date! Upcoming Talks in the Gender and Security Seminar Series:

Former US Secretary of Defense and Belfer Center Director Ash Carter--Friday, October 6
Prof. Megan MacKenzie--Wednesday, November 15