Fitness Reports of Naval Warfare Officers: A Search for Gender Differences.
Final rept. Jan 92-Jan 93,
NAVY PERSONNEL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENTCENTER SAN DIEGO CA
Pagination or Media Count:
The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether gender differences are evident in the narrative section of the fitness reports of naval warfare officers. An analysis conducted in 1983 had concluded that women and men officers are not evaluated without regard to gender. The most recent regular fitness reports were obtained for matched samples of women and men surface warfare officers, naval aviators, and naval flight officers. Information was extracted from the narrative section of the reports and content analyzed. Significance tests were conducted of the frequency with which specific descriptors were used in the fitness reports of women and men. The findings indicated that significantly more comments appeared in womens fitness reports than in mens, contrary to the results of the 1983 analysis, due to raters describing personality traits of women more often than they did for men. Women warfare officers were not described with gender-typed words but were said to be dynamic, assertive, and energetic more frequently than were men. Leadership was the only area of performance in which women were rated significantly lower than men. Although, more women than men had the recommended-for-early-promotion box checked, more men were recommended for immediate promotion in the comments. Gender differences favoring women occurred more frequently in the fitness reports of surface warfare officers than in those of the aviation officers. No evidence was found of sexist language in the fitness reports of women warfare officers, but the gender differences in the nature of recommendations and ratings of leadership could negatively affect the careers of women.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations