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A Crucible of Opinion on Women's Status: ERA in Illinois

Joan Huber, Cynthia Rexroat and Glenna Spitze
Social Forces
Vol. 57, No. 2, Special Issue (Dec., 1978), pp. 549-565
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/2577681
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2577681
Page Count: 17
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A Crucible of Opinion on Women's Status: ERA in Illinois
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Abstract

Data from two Illinois random samples in 1976 and 1977 were used to determine whether people respond to the Equal Rights Amendment more on the basis of social characteristics or of perceived consequences, and the degree of opinion polarization in the one-year period. Regression analysis showed that social characteristics have less impact than perceived consequences on opinion. For women, being non-Protestant, highly educated, and ever-divorced increases approval while for men, being Protestant, older, and having a nonemployed wife decreases approval. Effects present in both years became stronger over the one-year period-indicating some polarization of opinion. Perceived ERA effect on jobs-fear for men's, hope for women's-implies that the state of the economy may be critical for ratification.

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