Roper Center for Public Opinion Research

Site   Datasets    Advanced Search
University of Connecticut

The Virginia Slims American Women’s Opinion Polls

Members: Available using RoperExpress
Non-Members: See Dataset Fees

In 1970 with the Women’s Movement well underway, Virginia Slims began commissioning surveys about the role of American women in society. Today those roles are still changing and Philip Morris USA, makers of Virginia Slims, continues to collect data on the topic. In fact, the poll was conducted in 1970, 1972, 1974, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, and 2000. Many of the questions have remained the same, while others have explored the specific topics of the period. Thus, this collection has become not only “a barometer for social changes but a time capsule evoking another era” (2000 Virginia Slims Opinion Poll report, Voices of Women).

This collection is a treasure-trove of data for the scholarly study of women. From politics to household tasks, to child rearing matters, to equality in the workforce, these surveys provide empirical evidence of the changing roles of women over the last thirty years. For example, in 1970 two-thirds of women thought of themselves as “homebodies.” The 1985 study documented for the first time that a majority of women worked outside of the home, and voiced a preference for doing so.

The Center now archives all of the studies in the series from 1974 through 2000. In 1970 and 1972 the surveys were conducted by Louis Harris & Associates and are archived at the University of North Carolina. Each subsequent survey was fielded by the commercial polling firm, The Roper Organization or its successor, RoperASW. All interviews were conducted in-person.

Non-Members can order Virginia Slims data by emailing Data Services at

1974 Virginia Slims American Women's Opinion Poll

[Order number: USRSPVASLIMS1974-0547]
Sample: US Adults 3,880 (2,922 Women, 958 Men)
Fieldwork: Spring 1974

1990 Virginia Slims American Women's Opinion Poll

[Order number: USRSPVASLIMS1989-943-082]
Sample: US Adults 4,002 (3,001 Women;1,001 Men)
Fieldwork: July 22-August 12, 1989

1980 Virginia Slims American Women's Opinion Poll

[Order number: USRSPVASLIMS1979-0678]
Sample: US Adults 4,011 (2,960 Women; 984 Men)
Fieldwork: October 6-20, 1979

1995 Virginia Slims American Women's Opinion Poll

[Order number: USRSPVASLIMS1994-543-065]
Sample: US Adults 4,002 (2,970 Women;1,032 Men)
Fieldwork: November 12-December 3, 1994

1985 Virginia Slims American Women's Opinion Poll

[Order number: USRSPVASLIMS1985-0543]
Sample: US Adults 4,000 (3,000 Women; 1,000 Men)
Fieldwork: March 1985

2000 Virginia Slims American Women's Opinion Poll

[Order number: USRSPVASLIMS1999-CNP039]
Sample: US Adults 4,002 (2,177 Women; 826 Men)
Fieldwork: May 15-July 22, 1999