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Causes and Consequences of Sex-Role Attitudes and Attitude Change

Arland Thornton, Duane F. Alwin and Donald Camburn
American Sociological Review
Vol. 48, No. 2 (Apr., 1983), pp. 211-227
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2095106
Page Count: 17
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Causes and Consequences of Sex-Role Attitudes and Attitude Change
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Abstract

Using data from an eighteen-year panel study of women and their children, this paper addresses a range of questions regarding sex-role attitudes and attitude change. A definite trend toward more egalitarian conceptions of women's roles is observed through the mid 1970s and into the 1980s. There is little evidence of a general nature that indicates that this trend is slowing. An analysis of the determinants of sex-role attitudes shows that youth, labor force experience, and educational attainment contribute to the formation of egalitarian views of women's roles, while church attendance and a fundamentalist Protestant religious identification tend to preserve more traditional outlooks. There is also evidence of reciprocal effects of attitudes with labor force participation, but not with fertility, church attendance, education, and marital stability. Finally, it is shown that mothers' sex-role attitudes and experiences play an important role in shaping the attitudes of their offspring.

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