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The Changing Role of Women

Posted: April 21, 2014


A major political party has for the first time ever, a woman, Hillary Rodham Clinton as the front runner for President of the United States. So much has changed regarding the role of women in politics and in society. The first time Gallup asked the public about a woman in the White House was in 1937 when only 1 in 3 said they would support a woman presidential candidate. Today, much has changed and 95% of voters would support a well-qualified woman to lead the free world.

Men and women have come to accept the notion that the two genders are equally suited for politics, although women have led this trend. Overall, in the mid 1970s only half of the population disagreed that men were better suited emotionally for politics; today three-quarters of the population disagree.

Attitudes regarding the role of women in the household has shifted over nearly four decades alongside the rise in dual-income and single parent households. The NORC General Social Surveys document a flip from 1977 when the public found a majority, 65% agreed that the man should be the achiever outside of the home while 34% disagreed. The latest GSS shows only 31% agree and 68% disagree.

These data are available at the public opinion archives at the Roper Center at the University of Connecticut. The iPOLL database permits in-depth analysis of the American public in the aggregate. 

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Related Articles from Roper Center's "Public Perspective" Magazine

Topics at a Glance - Women & Work

  • Better If Man Works And Woman Takes Care Of Family
  • Equality In Hiring, Promotions, Advancement
  • Equal Pay For Equal Work
  • Discrimination Against Women in the Workplace
  • Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
  • Women In Politics
  • Work and Family

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