The author thanks Abigail J. Stewart for her helpful comments on the manuscript and Graham D. Kribs for his assistance with the figure.
ATTITUDES TOWARD WOMEN, 1970–1995
Article first published online: 1 AUG 2006
Psychology of Women Quarterly
Volume 21, Issue 1, pages 35–51, March 1997
How to Cite
Twenge, J. M. (1997), ATTITUDES TOWARD WOMEN, 1970–1995. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 21: 35–51. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6402.1997.tb00099.x
- Issue published online: 1 AUG 2006
- Article first published online: 1 AUG 2006
- Final draft received: September 10, 1996 Final accepted: September 26, 1996
The social climate for women has changed considerably since the Attitudes Toward Women Scale (AWS; Spence & Helmreich, 1972a) was developed in the early 1970s, but the pattern of change in AWS scores throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s is unclear. Published reports of data from 71 samples of American undergraduates responding to the AWS were located and analyzed for differences across time (1970–1995) and region (South and non-South). Women's AWS scores were strongly correlated with year of scale administration (r= .78, p < .001), and men's scores showed a similar trend toward more liberal/feminist attitudes (r= .60, p < .001). Scores show a steady trend toward more liberal/feminist attitudes, with no appreciable reversal or slowdown during the 1980s. Gender differences steadily increased from 1970 to 1985 and decreased from 1986 to 1995. Southern samples were marginally more conservative/traditional. The results are discussed in terms of generational differences, the effects of maternal employment on attitudes, and the individual's experience of cultural change.