ERIC Number: ED155113
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976
Reference Count: N/A
Women in American Society: A Historical and Demographic Profile. Population Profiles, Unit No. 15.
Reilly, Mary Ellen; Bouvier, Leon F.
An historical and contemporary analysis of the role of women in American society is presented. Specifically, the report considers women's involvement in the labor force. During the colonial period, most women worked in the home, producing cloth, clothing, shoes, and food. With the development of the textile industry, women obtained jobs in factories. The female laborers received lower wages than men and worked longer hours. Higher education became available to women in 1833. During periods of war (Civil War, World War I, World War II), women gained access to factory work and other jobs. The proportion of women working has increased steadily since World War II. Most startling is the increase in numbers of married women who work. The percentage has risen from 12.5% in 1940 to 39.6% in 1970. However, of the total population of working women, proportionately fewer women hold professional positions now than they did in 1950. Reasons for the increased numbers of women in the labor force include low fertility rates, higher levels of educational attainment, and improved standards of living. In terms of education, more women attend college today than in previous generations, but the proportion of women to men in college remains the same. This is because even greater numbers of men are attending college. Future prospects indicate that traditional sex roles will continue to change, maintaining women's participation in the labor force and increasing men's participation in child-rearing and sharing domestic tasks. (AV)
Descriptors: Comparative Analysis, Educational Opportunities, Employed Women, Females, Higher Education, Labor Force, Participation, Salaries, Sex Discrimination, Sex Role, Social History, Trend Analysis
Center for Information on America, Washington, Connecticut 06793 ($0.50, paper cover)
Publication Type: Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Commonwealth Fund, New York, NY.; Population Council, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Center for Information on America, Washington, CT.