‘Stalled Gender Revolution’ Is Awakening and Gender Equity Is on the Rise

kim kardashian

According to a report from the Council on Contemporary Families titled “Gender Revolution Rebound Symposium,” what is known as the “Stalled Gender Revolution” of the 1990s and early 2000s is now over.

This so-called stall in gender equality progression occurred after an active period from about 1970 to 1990 where women increasingly entered the work force and closed in on education and income gaps. Then, in the 1990s and 2000s, progress not only paused but also reversed. Highly educated women “opted out” of high-power, high-paying careers to stay with children over the fear that their kids would be harmed by lack of a substantial maternal relationship. Subsequently, the wage gaps again increased.

Now, according to the report by David Cotter, a sociologist at Union College, and his co-authors, gender equality is again progressing as generations outside of just the Millennials are increasingly accepting and embracing what gender equality entails. Since 2006, all generations, conservatives and liberals alike, have seen an increase in support for gender equality—conservatives, though behind liberals, have demonstrated the greatest growth in support.

According to the survey’s findings, in 1977, 66 percent of Americans surveyed said that male breadwinner-female homemaker families are the ideal, but now less than one-third surveyed agree with that. Additionally, today 65 percent disagreed that preschool children would suffer should their mothers work. Further, over 75 percent said that both genders are equally skilled in politics. According to a report by Christine Schwartz, sociology professor at University Wisconsin-Madison, only 28 percent would assert that the husband should earn a greater salary than his wife.

Professor of history and family studies at Evergreen State College and director of Public Education at the Council of Contemporary Families, Stephanie Coontz alleged that perhaps the Great Recession is responsible for the increase in support for gender equality in the workplace and home, as it was in the Great Depression. She told The Washington Post, “It may be that this time, the recession reminded people of women’s labor, and they respected them for it.”

While perhaps gender equity in the workplace is picking up speed, our world still has a ways to go to obtain full gender equality in all aspects of life.


Image Credit: via Melinda Beck

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