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GENDER IDEOLOGY CONSTRUCTION: A Life Course and Intersectional Approach

JONATHAN VESPA
Gender and Society
Vol. 23, No. 3 (June 2009), pp. 363-387
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20676785
Page Count: 25
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GENDER IDEOLOGY CONSTRUCTION: A Life Course and Intersectional Approach
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Abstract

Using life course and intersectional perspectives, this study examines how changes in life experiences such as marriage, parenthood, and work are associated with changes in individuals' gender ideology. Using longitudinal survey data and fixed effects, findings suggest that exposure to these experiences influences gender ideology, though with greater variation than previous work has detected. Marriage exerts an egalitarian influence on Blacks but a less egalitarian one on whites. Parenthood has a less egalitarian effect for all married parents but an egalitarian one for most unmarried parents. These findings suggest that gender ideology is dynamic and life experiences are important sources of change. Furthermore, this change depends on individuals' race-gender categories and the configuration of life events to which they are exposed. These nuanced findings amend past work by better identifying for whom and under which conditions life experiences shape gender ideology. In doing so, this study illustrates how the conceptual and methodological approaches help us understand gender ideology construction by revealing substantial variation that went undetected in past work.

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