Women's Attitudes: Some Poll-Based Observations

Papers and StudiesDownload file The full text of this report is available here as an Adobe Acrobat PDF.

EXPECTATIONS AND REALITY: In 1946, the Gallup Organization asked fathers and mothers about expectations for their sons and daughters. Sixty-four percent of fathers thought opportunities for their sons would be better than the ones they had had. Sixty-one percent of women gave that response about their daughters. When Gallup repeated the question half a century later, fathers' optimism about sons was about the same. But mothers' optimism about their daughters had soared. Eighty-five percent of them said their daughter's opportunities would be better than their own.

The CIRP/HERI/UCLA annual surveys of college freshmen show a dramatic change over the last generation in the highest level of formal education their mothers obtained. In 1966, the first time this question was asked, 18 percent of college freshmen said their mothers had a college education or more. In 2006, more than three times as many, 58.9 percent, said that was the case. What happened?

The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth provides some clues. In 1968, 27.5 percent of white women aged 14-24 said they expected to be working at age 35. The labor force participation rate for these women at ages 35-44 in 1985 was 71.4 percent. In 1979, 71.7 percent of young white women expected to be working at age 35. Within a short time span, women's expectations about what their futures would hold changed dramatically, and they began to prepare themselves differently. . . .

Download file The full text of this report is available here as an Adobe Acrobat PDF.

Karlyn H. Bowman is a senior fellow at AEI.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author



What's new on AEI

Defeating ISIS: AEI experts weigh-in before the president’s address on Wednesday
image Degrading, defeating, and destroying the Islamic State
image Wealth Building Home Loan: Building wealth through homeownership and retirement savings
image The $3 iPhone
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 | 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
The Constitution as political theory

Please join us for the third-annual Walter Berns Constitution Day Lecture as James Ceasar, Harry F. Byrd Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia, explores some of the Constitution’s most significant contributions to political theory, focusing on themes that have been largely unexamined in current scholarship.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 | 8:10 a.m. – Thursday, September 18, 2014 | 1:30 p.m.
Third international conference on housing risk: New risk measures and their applications

We invite you to join us for this year’s international conference on housing risk — cosponsored by the Collateral Risk Network and AEI International Center on Housing Risk — which will focus on new mortgage and collateral risk measures and their applications.

Thursday, September 18, 2014 | 2:15 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Speaker of the House John Boehner on resetting America’s economic foundation

Please join us as Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) delivers his five-point policy vision to reset America’s economy.

Friday, September 19, 2014 | 9:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Reforming Medicare: What does the public think?

Please join us as a panel of distinguished experts explore the implications of the report and the consumer role in shaping the future of Medicare.

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled today.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.