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Many Believe Women Should Have Equal Work Opportunity, but Are Better Than Men at Child-Rearing



(p. B1) A new study, based on national survey data from 1977 to 2016, helps explain why the path to equality seems in some ways to have stalled -- despite the significant increases in women's educational and professional opportunities during that period.

Two-thirds of Americans and three-quarters of millennials say they believe that men and women should be equal in both the public sphere of work and the private sphere of home. Only a small share of people, young or old, still say that men and women should be unequal in both spheres -- 5 percent of millennials and 7 percent of those born from 1946 to 1980.

But the study revealed that roughly a quarter of people's views about gender equality are more complicated, and differ regarding work and home. Most of them say that while women should have the same opportunities as men to work or participate in politics, they should do more homemaking and child-rearing, found the study, which is set to be published in the journal Gender and Society.

"You can believe men and women have truly different natural tendencies and skills, that women are better nurturers and caretakers, and still believe women should have equal rights in the labor force," said Barbara Risman, a sociology professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and an author of the paper along with William Scarborough, a sociology doctoral candidate there and Ray Sin, a behavioral scientist at Morningstar.



For the full commentary, see:

Miller, Claire Cain. "THE UPSHORT; Equality Valued at Work, Not Necessarily at Home." The New York Times (Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018): B1 & B5.

(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date Dec. 3, 2018, and has the title "THE UPSHORT; Americans Value Equality at Work More Than Equality at Home.")


The academic paper mentioned above, has been published online in advance of print publication:

Scarborough, William J., Ray Sin, and Barbara Risman. "Attitudes and the Stalled Gender Revolution: Egalitarianism, Traditionalism, and Ambivalence from 1977 through 2016." Gender & Society (2018): https://doi.org/10.1177/0891243218809604






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