Gender Equality

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



The last four decades have seen significant changes in women's economic and political participation and in the degree to which gender definitively restricts women's opportunities in the workplace and in public life. The public opinion data discussed here reflect, to some degree, those profound shifts. Though egalitarian attitudes are not shared by all demographic groups, most Americans are now unwilling to endorse abstractly worded traditional positions on the proper roles of men and women. However, these opinion shifts have not translated into the ratification of an Equal Rights Amendment to the federal Constitution, nor hav they portended increasingly egalitarian attitudes on the concrete issue of whether women should be drafted into the military on the same basis as men. The story of incremental change in gender role attitudes provides an example of how constitutionally relevant beliefs might evolve over time.


childhood characteristics, public opinion, women's rights, Equal Rights Amendment, military, egalitarian attitudes, gender roles

Publication Title

Public Opinion and Constitutional Controversy