Gender Issues

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 58–71 | Cite as

Gender role attitudes and college students’ work and family expectations

  • Gayle Kaufman
Research Note


Work and family issues are becoming increasingly important for both women and men. This study examines college students' plans and attitudes concerning work and family, gender differences in attitudes and expectations, and the effect of gender role attitudes on future expectations. Findings indicate that a majority of men and women expect to marry, have children, and work full-time. While men expect to work more hours at a job, there are no gender differences in ideal work hours. Women who hold more egalitarian gender role attitudes are less definitive in their plans to marry and have children. Egalitarian men expect to work fewer hours and are more willing to stay at home than their traditional counterparts.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Affleck, M., Morgan, C.S., & Hayes, M.P. 1989. “The Influence of Gender Role Attitudes on Life Expectations of College Students.” Youth & Society, 20:307–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ahlburg, D.A., & De Vita, C.J. 1992. “New Realities of the American Family.” Population Bulletin, 47.Google Scholar
  3. Baber, K.M., & Monaghan, P. 1988. “College Women's Career and Motherhood Expectations: New Options, Old Dilemmans.” Sex Roles, 19:189–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Basow, S.A. 1992. Gender Stereotypes and Roles (Third edition). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks Cole.Google Scholar
  5. Brod, H. (Ed.). 1987. The Making of Masculinities: The New Men's Studies. Boston, MA: Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
  6. Chatterjee, J., & McCarrey, M. 1989. “Sex Role Attitudes of Self and Those Inferred of Peers, Performance, and Career Opportunities as Reported by Women in Nontraditional vs. Traditional Training Program.” Sex Roles, 21:653–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Davey, F.H. 1998. “Young Women's Expected and Preferred Patterns of Employment and Child Care.” Sex Roles, 38:95–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Eccles, J.S. 1987. “Gender Roles and Women's Achievement-Related Decisions.” Psychology of Women Quarterly, 11:35–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. England, E.M. 1992. “College Student Gender Stereotypes: Expectations about the Behavior of Male Subcategory Members.” Sex Roles, 27:699–716.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Etaugh, C., & Folger, D. 1998. “Perceptions of Parents Whose Work and Parenting Behaviors Deviate from Role Expectations.” Sex Roles, 39:215–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ferber, M.A., & Young, L. 1997. “Student Attitudes toward Roles of Women and Men: Is the Egalitarian Household Immiment?.” Feminist Economics, 3:65–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fiorentine, R. 1988. “Increasing Similarity in the Values and Life Plans of Male and Female College Students? Evidence and Implications.” Sex Roles, 18:143–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Goldscheider, F.K., & Waite, L.J. 1991. New Families, No Families? The Transformation of the American Home. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  14. Goode, W.J. 1992. “Why Men Resist.” In B. Thorne, & M. Yalom (eds.), Rethinking the Family. New York: Longman.Google Scholar
  15. Hanson, S.L. & Sloane, D.M. 1992. “Young Children and Job Satisfaction.” Journal of Marriage and the Family, 54:799–811.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Juster, F.T. 1985. “Preferences for Work and Leisure.” In F.T. Juster & F.P. Stafford (eds.), Time, Goods and Well-being. Ann Arbor, MI: Institute for Social Research.Google Scholar
  17. Kaufman, G. 2000. “Do Gender Role Attitudes Matter? Family Formation and Dissolution among Traditional and Egalitarian Men and Women.” Journal of Family Issues, 21:128–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kaufman, G., & Uhlenberg, P. 2000. “The Influence of Parenthood on the Work Effort of Married Men and Women.” Social Forces, 78:931–947.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Knox, M., Funk, J., Elliott, R., & Bush, E.G. 2000. “Gender Differences in Adolescents' Possible Selves.” Youth & Society, 31:287–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Komarovsky, M. 1982. “Female Freshmen View Their Future: Career Salience and its Correlates.” Sex Roles, 8:299–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Looker, E.D., & Magee, P.A. 2000. “Gender and Work: The Occupational Expectations of Young Women and Men in the 1990s.” Gender Issues, 18:74–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Machung, A. 1989. “Talking Career, Thinking Jobs: Gender Differences in Career and Family Expectations of Berkeley Seniors.” Feminist Studies, 15:35–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. McLaughlin, S.D. 1988. The Changing Lives of American Women. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.Google Scholar
  24. Morgan, C.S., & Affleck, M. 1989. “College Women's Expectations for Work and Family.” Free Inquiry in Creative Sociology, 17:207–12.Google Scholar
  25. Morinaga, Y., Frieze, I.H., & Ferligoj, A. 1993. “Career Plans and Gender-role Attitudes of College Students in the United States, Japan, and Slovenia.” Sex Roles, 29:317–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Novack, L.L., & Novack, D.R. 1996. “Being Female in the Eighties and Nineties: Conflicts between New Opportunities and Traditional Expectations among White, Middle Class, Heterosexual College Women.” Sex Roles, 35:57–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Poston, D.L., Jr., & Dan, H. 1996. “Fertility Trends in the United States.” In D.L. Peck and J.S. Hollingsworth (eds.), Demographic and Structural Change: The Effects of the 1980s on American Society. Westport, CT: Greenwood.Google Scholar
  28. Powers, R.S., Suitor, J.J., Guerra, S, Shackelford, M., Mecom, D., & Gusman, K. 2003. “Regional Differences in Gender-Role Attitudes: Variations by Gender and Race.” Gender Issues, 21:40–54.Google Scholar
  29. Rice, T.W., & Coates, D.L. 1995. “Gender Role Attitudes in the Southern United States.” Gender & Society, 9:744–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Riggs, J.M. 2005. “Impressions of Mothers and Fathers on the Periphery of Child Care.” Psychology of Women Quarterly, 29:58–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Rogers, S.J., & Amato, P.R. 1997. “Is Marital Quality Declining? The Evidence from Two Generations.” Social Forces, 75:1089–1100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Schroeder, K.A., Blood, L.L., & Maluso, D. 1992. “An Intergenerational Analysis of Expectations for Women's Career and Family Roles.” Sex Roles, 26:273–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Spade, J.Z., & Reese, C.A. 1991. “We've Come a Long Way, Maybe: College Student's Plans for Work and Family.” Sex Roles, 24:309–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Stake, J.E., & Rogers, L.L. 1989. “Job and Home Attitudes of Undergraduate Women and Their Mothers.” Sex Roles, 20:445–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Thornton, A. 1989. “Changing Attitudes toward Family Issues in the United States.” Journal of Marriage and the Family, 51:873–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Twenge, J.M. 1997. “Attitudes toward Women, 1970–1995: A Meta-Analysis.” Psychology of Women Quarterly, 21:35–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. U.S. Bureau of the Census. 2002. Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2002 (122nd edition). Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  38. Whisler, S.C., & Eklund, S.J. 1986. “Women's Ambitions: A Three-Generational Study.” Psychology of Women Quarterly, 10:353–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Willetts-Bloom, M.C., & Nock, S.L. 1994. “The Influence of Maternal Employment on Gender Role Attitudes of Men and Women.” Sex Roles, 30:371–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Willinger, B. 1993. “Resistance and Change: College Men's Attitudes toward Family and Work in the 1980s.” In J.C. Hood (ed.), Men, Work, and Family. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gayle Kaufman
    • 1
  1. 1.Davidson CollegeUSA

Personalised recommendations