Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

The End of the Gender Revolution? Gender Role Attitudes from 1977 to 2008

David Cotter, Joan M. Hermsen and Reeve Vanneman
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 117, No. 1 (July 2011), pp. 259-89
DOI: 10.1086/658853
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/658853
Page Count: 31
Subjects: Sociology
  • Download PDF
  • Add to My Lists
  • Cite this Item
The End of the Gender Revolution? Gender Role Attitudes from 1977 to
                        2008
We're having trouble loading this content. Download PDF instead.

Abstract

After becoming consistently more egalitarian for more than two decades, gender role attitudes in the General Social Survey have changed little since the mid-1990s. This plateau mirrors other gender trends, suggesting a fundamental alteration in the momentum toward gender equality. While cohort replacement can explain about half of the increasing egalitarianism between 1974 and 1994, the changes since the mid-1990s are not well accounted for by cohort differences. Nor is the post-1994 stagnation explained by structural or broad ideological changes in American society. The recent lack of change in gender attitudes is more likely the consequence of the rise of a new cultural frame, an “egalitarian essentialism” that blends aspects of feminist equality and traditional motherhood roles.

Notes and References

This item contains 52 references.

References
  • ['Belkin,\n Lisa. 2003. “The Opt-Out Revolution.” New York Times\n Magazine. October 26.']
  • ['Bianchi,\n Suzanne M., John P. Robinson, and Melissa Milkie. 2006. Changing Rhythms\n of American Family Life. New York: Russell Sage.']
  • ['Blair-Loy,\n Mary. 2003. Competing Devotions: Career and Family among Women\n Executives. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.']
  • ['Bolzendahl,\n Catherine, and Clem Brooks. 2005. “Polarization, Secularization, or\n Differences as Usual? The Denominational Cleavage in U.S. Social Attitudes since\n the 1970s.” Sociological Quarterly\n 46:47–78.']
  • ['Boushey,\n Heather. 2005. “Are Women Opting Out? Debunking the Myth.” Briefing\n paper, November. Washington, D.C.: Center for Economic and Policy\n Research.']
  • ['Brewster,\n Karin L., and Irene Padavic. 2000. “Change in Gender-Ideology,\n 1977–1996: The Contributions of Intracohort Change and Population\n Turnover.” Journal of Marriage and the Family\n 62:477–87.']
  • ['Brooks,\n Clem, and Catherine Bolzendahl. 2004. “The Transformation of U.S. Gender\n Role Attitudes: Cohort Replacement, Social-Structural Change, and Ideological\n Learning.” Social Science Research 33 (1):\n 106–33.']
  • ['Buchmann,\n Claudia, and Thomas A. DiPrete. 2006. “The Growing Female Advantage in\n College Completion: The Role of Family Background and Academic\n Achievement.” American Sociological Review 71 (4):\n 515–41.']
  • ['Burstein,\n Paul, and Marie Bricher. 1997. “Problem Definition and Public Policy:\n Congressional Committees Confront Work, Family, and Gender,\n 1945–1990.” Social Forces\n 76:135–68.']
  • ['Burstein,\n Paul, R. Marie Bricher, and Rachel L. Einwohner. 1995. “Policy\n Alternatives and Political Change: Work, Family, and Gender on the Congressional\n Agenda, 1945–1990.” American Sociological Review\n 60:67–83.']
  • ['Burstein,\n Paul, and Susan Wierzbicki. 2000. “Public Opinion and Congressional Action\n on Work, Family, and Gender, 1945–1990.” Pp. 31–66 in\n Work and Family: Research Informing Policy, edited by Toby\n L. Parcel and Daniel B. Cornfield. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage.']
  • ['Cassidy,\n Margaret L., and Bruce O. Warren. 1996. “Family Employment Status and\n Gender Role Attitudes: A Comparison of Women and Men College Graduates.”\n Gender and Society 10:312–29.']
  • ['Charles,\n Maria, and David B. Grusky. 2004. Occupational Ghettos: The Worldwide\n Segregation of Women and Men. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University\n Press.']
  • ['Cherlin,\n Andrew, and Pamela Barnhouse Walters. 1981. “Trends in United States\n Men’s and Women’s Sex Role Attitudes: 1972–78.”\n American Sociological Review 46:453–60.']
  • ['Costain,\n Anne N. 1992. Inviting Women’s Rebellion: A Political Process\n Interpretation of the Women’s Movement. Baltimore: Johns\n Hopkins University Press.']
  • ['Cotter,\n David A., Joan M. Hermsen, and Reeve Vanneman. 2004. Gender Inequality\n at Work. New York: Russell Sage; Washington, D.C.: Population\n Reference Bureau.']
  • ['Danziger,\n Sheldon, and Peter Gottschalk. 2005. “Diverging Fortunes: Trends in\n Poverty and Inequality.” Pp. 49–75 in The American People:\n Census 2000, edited by Reynolds Farley and John Haaga. New York:\n Russell Sage.']
  • ['Davis,\n James A. 1992. “Changeable Weather in a Cooling Climate atop the Liberal\n Plateau.” Public Opinion Quarterly\n 56:261–306.']
  • ['Davis,\n James A., and Tom W. Smith. 2007. General Social Surveys,\n 1972–2006. Machine-readable data file. Storrs, Conn.: Roper\n Center for Public Opinion Research.']
  • ['Douglas,\n Susan, and Meredith Michaels. 2004. The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of\n Motherhood and How It Has Undermined Women. New York: Free\n Press.']
  • ['Faludi,\n Susan. 1991. Backlash: The Undeclared War against American\n Women. New York: Anchor.']
  • ['Ferree,\n Myra Marx. 1974. “A Woman for President? Changing Responses:\n 1958–1972.” Public Opinion Quarterly\n 38:390–99.']
  • ['Fischer,\n Claude S., and Michael Hout. 2006. Century of Difference: How America\n Changed in the Last One Hundred Years. New York: Russell\n Sage.']
  • ['Friedan,\n Betty. 1963. The Feminine Mystique. New York: Dell.']
  • ['Gamson,\n William A., and Andre Modigliani. 1989. “Media Discourse and Public\n Opinion on Nuclear Power: A Constructionist Approach.” American\n Journal of Sociology 95 (1): 1–37.']
  • ['Goldin,\n Claudia. 2006. “The ‘Quiet Revolution’ That Transformed\n Women’s Employment, Education and Family.” American Economic\n Review, Papers and Proceedings 96:1–21.']
  • ['Hays,\n Sharon. 1996. The Cultural Contradictions of Motherhood. New\n Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press.']
  • ['Hoffmann,\n John P., and Alan S. Miller. 1997. “Social and Political Attitudes among\n Religious Groups: Convergence and Divergence Over Time.” Journal\n for the Scientific Study of Religion 36:52–70.']
  • ['Hout,\n Michael, and Claude S. Fischer. 2002. “Explaining the Rise of Americans\n with No Religious Preference: Politics and Generation.” American\n Sociology Review 67:165–90.']
  • ['Hout,\n Michael, Andrew Greeley, and Melissa J. Wilde. 2001. “The Demographic\n Imperative in Religious Change in the United States.” American\n Journal of Sociology 107:468–500.']
  • ['Jacobs,\n Jerry A., and Kathleen Gerson. 2004. The Time Divide: Work, Family, and\n Gender Inequality. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University\n Press.']
  • ['Lareau,\n Annette. 2003. Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family\n Life. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California\n Press.']
  • ['Lichter,\n Daniel T., and Zhenchao Qian. 2005. “Marriage and Family in a Multiracial\n Society.” Pp. 169–200 in The American People: Census\n 2000, edited by Reynolds Farley and John Haaga. New York: Russell\n Sage.']
  • ['Mason,\n Karen O., John L. Czajka, and Sara Arber. 1976. “Change in U.S.\n Women’s Sex Role Attitudes, 1964–1974.” American\n Sociological Review 41:573–96.']
  • ['Mason,\n Karen O., and Yu-Hsai Lu. 1988. “Attitudes toward Women’s Familial\n Roles: Changes in the United States, 1977–1985.” Gender and\n Society 2:39–57.']
  • ['Minkoff,\n Debra C. 1997. “The Sequencing of Social Movements.”\n American Sociological Review 62:779–99.']
  • ['Modigliani,\n Andre. 1972. “Hawks and Doves, Isolationism and Political Distrust: An\n Analysis of Public Opinion on Military Policy.” American Political\n Science Review 66:960–78.']
  • ['Moore,\n Laura M., and Reeve Vanneman. 2003. “Context Matters: Effects of the\n Proportion of Fundamentalists on Gender Attitudes.” Social\n Forces 82:115–39.']
  • ['Peek,\n Charles W., George D. Lowe, and L. Susan Williams. 1991. “Gender and\n God’s Word: Another Look at Religious Fundamentalism and Sexism.”\n Social Forces 69:1205–21.']
  • ['Peltola,\n Pia, Melissa A. Milkie, and Stanley Presser. 2004. “The Feminist Mystique:\n Feminist Identity in Three Generations of Women.” Gender and\n Society 18:122–44.']
  • ['Peskowitz,\n Miriam. 2005. The Truth behind the Mommy Wars: Who Decides What Makes a\n Good Mother? Emeryville, Calif.: Seal Press.']
  • ['Pollitt,\n Katha. 2003. “There They Go Again.” The Nation.\n October 31.']
  • ['Schnittker,\n Jason, Jeremy Freese, and Brian Powell. 2003. “Who Are Feminists and What\n Do They Believe? The Role of Generations.” American Sociological\n Review 68:607–22.']
  • ['Schuman,\n Howard. 1972. “Two Sources of Antiwar Sentiment in America.”\n American Journal of Sociology 78:513–36.']
  • ['Steensland,\n Brian, Jerry Z. Park, Mark D. Regnerus, Lynn D. Robinson, W. Bradford Wilcox,\n and Robert D. Woodbury. 2000. “The Measure of American Religion: Toward\n Improving the State of the Art.” Social Forces\n 79:291–318.']
  • ['Stone,\n Pamela. 2007. Opting Out? Why Women Really Quit Careers and Head\n Home. Berkeley: University of California Press.']
  • ['Story,\n Louise. 2005. “Many Women at Elite Colleges Set Career Path to\n Motherhood.” New York Times. September 20.']
  • ['Tallichet,\n Suzanne E., and Fern K. Willits. 1986. “Gender Role Attitude Change of\n Young Women: Influential Factors from a Panel Study.” Social\n Psychology Quarterly 49:219–27.']
  • ['Thornton,\n Arland, and Deborah Freedman. 1979. “Changes in Sex Role Attitudes of\n Women, 1962–1977.” American Sociological Review\n 44:831–42.']
  • ['Thornton,\n Arland, and Linda Young-DeMarco. 2001. “Four Decades of Trends in\n Attitudes towards Family Issues in the United States: The 1960s through the\n 1990s.” Journal of Marriage and the Family\n 63:1009–37.']
  • ['Wilcox,\n Clyde, and Ted G. Jelen. 1991. “The Effects of Employment and Religion on\n Women’s Feminist Attitudes.” International Journal for the\n Psychology of Religion 1:161–71.']
  • ['Williams,\n Joan. 2000. Unbending Gender: Why Family and Work Conflict and What to\n Do about It. New York: Oxford.']