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Virginia Slims women's opinion polls
In 1970 with the Women’s Movement well underway, Virginia Slims began commissioning surveys about the role of American women in society. As those roles continued to change through the late 20th century, Philip Morris USA, makers of Virginia Slims, continued to collect data on the topic. The poll was conducted in 1970, 1972, 1974, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, and 2000. Many of the questions remained the same, while others 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 Data-Services@RoperCenter.org.

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

 

For more information please contact the Roper Center at 860.486.4440 or email Data Services at Data-Services@RoperCenter.org.