ISRAELI SOCIAL WORKERS AND SEX ROLES: A STUDY ON VALUES AND ATTITUDES TOWARD SEX ROLES AND THEIR IMPACT UPON PRACTICE
BRENNER, JOYCE ROSMAN
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This study was undertaken to examine the values and attitudes of Israeli social workers regarding sex roles and the extent to which such values influence practice.;This research project, conducted on over a hundred Israeli social workers practicing in family counselling agencies, investigated the following four interconnected elements: (1) the personal values and attitudes of practitioners toward men and women; (2) the influence of certain background variables upon these social workers; (3) the social workers' self-evaluation and self-awareness of sex role issues; and (4) the effect of these values and attitudes upon practice. The final instrument consisted of four sections: (1) demographic data, (2) value and attitude questions which generated a "contemporary/traditional" continuum, (3) self-evaluation questions, and (4) case vignettes and practice questions.;The findings indicated that those social workers surveyed expressed a "contemporary/progressive" approach (as defined by current feminist literature) in their attitudes toward sex roles. This was an unexpected finding. The workers responses were especially influenced by age and gender--the males and the older (over 40) respondents scored more "traditional" in their approaches to sex roles. The findings also demonstrated a strong correlation between attitudinal responses and workers' self-evaluation of their approach to these issues. Personal values, whether "contemporary" or "traditional" reflecting sex role biases, did emerge and influence the direction and outcome of practice. Critical self-examination by practitioners in connection with sex role issues appears necessary and long overdue.