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Sex Roles

, Volume 79, Issue 7–8, pp 393–408 | Cite as

The Cultural Divide and Changing Beliefs about Gender in the United States, 1974–2010

  • Kristen Schultz Lee
  • Paula A. Tufiş
  • Duane F. Alwin
Original Article

Abstract

The present paper examines claims of a growing cultural divide in the United States. We analyze social change in beliefs about gender over a period of 36 years (from 1974 to 2010) in the United States using data from the nationally representative General Social Survey (GSS). We find evidence of growing gender egalitarianism until the mid-1990s, with a reversal between 1996 and 2000, and a decline in state differences in beliefs about gender over time in our decomposition analysis and multilevel models. Although we find significant differences in gender beliefs among states in the 1970s based on their voting record on the Equal Rights Amendment and based on patterns of family formation and family life associated with the Second Demographic Transition, these differences among states decreased or disappeared entirely by the early years of the twenty-first century. We highlight the implications of our findings for the ongoing public and academic debate surrounding growing cultural differences among states.

Keywords

Gender equality Sex role attitudes Gender Gender attitudes Social change Cohort analysis Second demographic transition 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11199_2017_874_MOESM1_ESM.docx (48 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 48 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristen Schultz Lee
    • 1
  • Paula A. Tufiş
    • 2
  • Duane F. Alwin
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity at Buffalo, SUNYBuffaloUSA
  2. 2.Department of Sociology and Social WorkUniversity of BucharestBucharestRomania
  3. 3.Department of Sociology and Population Research InstitutePennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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