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Public Opinion and Constitutional Controversy$
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Nathaniel Persily, Jack Citrin, and Patrick J. Egan

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195329414

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195329414.001.0001

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Gender Equality

Gender Equality

(p.139) 6 Gender Equality
Public Opinion and Constitutional Controversy

Serena Mayeri

Ryan Brown

Nathaniel Persily

Son Ho Kim

Oxford University Press

The last four decades have seen significant changes in women's economic and political participation and in the degree to which gender definitively restricts women's opportunities in the workplace and in public life. The public opinion data discussed here reflect, to some degree, those profound shifts. Though egalitarian attitudes are not shared by all demographic groups, most Americans are now unwilling to endorse abstractly worded traditional positions on the proper roles of men and women. However, these opinion shifts have not translated into the ratification of an Equal Rights Amendment to the federal Constitution, nor hav they portended increasingly egalitarian attitudes on the concrete issue of whether women should be drafted into the military on the same basis as men. The story of incremental change in gender role attitudes provides an example of how constitutionally relevant beliefs might evolve over time.

Keywords:   gender roles, childhood characteristics, public opinion, women's rights, Equal Rights Amendment, military, egalitarian attitudes

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