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The Impact of the Female Marriage Squeeze and the Contraceptive Revolution on Sex Roles and the Women's Liberation Movement in the United States, 1960 to 1975

David M. Heer and Amyra Grossbard-Shechtman
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 43, No. 1 (Feb., 1981), pp. 49-65
DOI: 10.2307/351416
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/351416
Page Count: 17
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The Impact of the Female Marriage Squeeze and the Contraceptive Revolution on Sex Roles and the Women's Liberation Movement in the United States, 1960 to 1975
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Abstract

This paper argues that the advent of the Women's Liberation Movement was very much interconnected to: (1) the revolution in contraceptive technology which began in 1960, and (2) a marked shift in the ratio of males to females at marriageable age, a change which took place in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The former change reduced the number of women in the traditional role of wife and mother; the latter not only had the same effect but also reduced the benefits or compensation to be obtained from following that role. These two changes not only helped to spawn the Women's Liberation Movement but also influenced the proportion of women who married, the divorce rate, the marital fertility rate, the illegitimacy ratio, and male-female differences both in education and in labor-force participation.

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