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:
Page Count: 31
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The End of the Gender Revolution? Gender Role Attitudes from 1977 to
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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

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