Generational changes in gender-role attitudes: Britain in a cross-national perspective

Jacqueline Scott, Duane F. Alwin, Michael Braun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

121 Scopus citations


This paper compares the nature and extent of change in gender-role attitudes in Britain with other nations. We hypothesise that while many of the changes would be similar across nations reflecting, in part, the increased importance of women's labour-force participation, the pace and sources of attitudinal change would be different in the different nations. Comparisons are made over the last decade between Britain, the United States and Germany. Using data from the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) additional comparisons over a shorter time period are made with Ireland, the Netherlands and Italy. Data from the General Social Surveys of America (GSS) and Germany (ALLBUS) reveal that there has been a marked liberal shift in attitudes, with more of the change occurring within cohorts than through the process of cohort succession. In Britain, data from the British Social Attitudes surveys (BSA) reveal a slower and less consistent pace of change, with evidence of a growing gender difference in beliefs that maternal employment may be harmful to children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)471-492
Number of pages22
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


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