Working women and "women's work": a demographic perspective on the breakdown of sex roles

by Peter A. Morrison, Judith P. Wheeler


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Examines several recent demographic trends that furnish insights into changing views of women's roles and family arrangements among young people: (1) the rising proportion of women (especially wives with young children) in the labor force, (2) their increasing representation in traditionally "male" occupations, (3) later age at first marriage, (4) the increasing incidence of "nonfamily" living arrangements, and (5) the decline in family size expectations. These trends indicate a weakening of sex-role stereotypes and greater flexibility in family living arrangements. The present younger generation has been steeped in ideas of sexual equality and, in turn, promotes them. This change may eventually stimulate the development of a whole new industry--the housework industry--and the desexing of "woman's work" thanks, ironically, to women working. 5 pp.

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