Separating Spheres? Diverging Trends in Youth's Gender Attitudes about Work and Family

  1. David A. Cotter

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Description: Treating trends in gender ideology as multidimensional constructs, rather than monolithically, is central to gaining insight into the stall in the gender revolution. Using data from Monitoring the Future survey (1976–2015), we examine trends in youth's beliefs about gender in three domains: the marketplace, the family, and the intersection of work with family. Findings show that the gap in beliefs about gender egalitarianism in the workforce and in families converged until the mid-1990s and widened thereafter. The divergence is attributed to changes in gender egalitarian beliefs in the family domain which increased until the mid-1990s, but surprisingly reversed course thereafter. The findings call into question theoretical assumptions about the gender revolution—that women’s advancement in one domain will be associated with progress in another. Instead, rising egalitarian ideology in the marketplace has been met with a renewed gender essentialism in the family.

License: CC0 1.0 Universal


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  • Separating Spheres

    Pepin & Cotter
    The authors investigated whether trends in attitudes about gender were consistent with the gender stall primarily occurring in the family domain and e...

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