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The Religious Factor Revisited: Religious Identities, Religious Behavior and Parental Orientations to Children

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Abstract:

This paper investigates changes in beliefs about sex-roles in the United States over the past twenty-five years. We rely on measures of two dimensions of sex-role beliefs – gender ideology and beliefs about the consequences of maternal work for children – from the General Social Survey beginning in 1977 through 2002. We focus on the comparison of religious groups in the nature and extent of their change in sex-role beliefs over this period and decompose changes for each religious category into two components – secular change due to cohort turnover and change due to secular shifts within cohorts. We investigate these changes separately for men and women and examine differences in rates of change over time. In addition, we decompose these trends separately for “lifelong” members of religious groups and those who converted to the group after childhood in an effort to control for the effects of patterns of retention and recruitment that might affect the assessment of change. Our results indicate considerable change in sex-role beliefs through the early 1990s and a subsequent leveling off. Change is greater among women across all religious groups, and religion appears to play a greater role in the differentiation of rates of change in the sex-role beliefs of men. Catholic men and men in non-conservative Protestant groups were on the vanguard of change whereas conservative Protestant men are somewhat slower to embrace change. The results for women are relatively consistent across measures, whereas men are more likely to embrace a role for women in the labor-force than one that compromises their maternal role.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

chang (159), religi (84), cohort (67), women (61), social (54), role (49), period (48), belief (45), famili (43), group (39), men (33), sex (33), measur (33), religion (32), differ (31), protest (28), attitud (28), alwin (26), time (25), sex-rol (25), work (24),

Author's Keywords:

social change, sex-role beliefs, religion, cohort replacement
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Name: American Sociological Association
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MLA Citation:

Alwin, Duane. and Felson, Jacob. "The Religious Factor Revisited: Religious Identities, Religious Behavior and Parental Orientations to Children" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Hilton San Francisco & Renaissance Parc 55 Hotel, San Francisco, CA,, Aug 14, 2004 <Not Available>. 2009-05-26 <http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p110577_index.html>

APA Citation:

Alwin, D. F. and Felson, J. L. , 2004-08-14 "The Religious Factor Revisited: Religious Identities, Religious Behavior and Parental Orientations to Children" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Hilton San Francisco & Renaissance Parc 55 Hotel, San Francisco, CA, Online <.PDF>. 2009-05-26 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p110577_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This paper investigates changes in beliefs about sex-roles in the United States over the past twenty-five years. We rely on measures of two dimensions of sex-role beliefs – gender ideology and beliefs about the consequences of maternal work for children – from the General Social Survey beginning in 1977 through 2002. We focus on the comparison of religious groups in the nature and extent of their change in sex-role beliefs over this period and decompose changes for each religious category into two components – secular change due to cohort turnover and change due to secular shifts within cohorts. We investigate these changes separately for men and women and examine differences in rates of change over time. In addition, we decompose these trends separately for “lifelong” members of religious groups and those who converted to the group after childhood in an effort to control for the effects of patterns of retention and recruitment that might affect the assessment of change. Our results indicate considerable change in sex-role beliefs through the early 1990s and a subsequent leveling off. Change is greater among women across all religious groups, and religion appears to play a greater role in the differentiation of rates of change in the sex-role beliefs of men. Catholic men and men in non-conservative Protestant groups were on the vanguard of change whereas conservative Protestant men are somewhat slower to embrace change. The results for women are relatively consistent across measures, whereas men are more likely to embrace a role for women in the labor-force than one that compromises their maternal role.

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Document Type: .PDF
Page count: 20
Word count: 7322
Text sample:
Religious Identities and Secular Change in Beliefs About Sex-Roles in American Society – 1977 to 2002. Duane Alwin Paula Tufis Jacob Felson and Edward Walker Department of Sociology Pennsylvania State University Introduction Across the past century the United States and other western nations have experienced major demographic and social changes in the nature and functioning of family life. Birth rates have reached an all-time low throughout the industrialized world with many Western countries now experiencing levels of fertility that
Attitudes Toward Family Issues in the US: 1960s through 1990s. Journal of Marriage and the Family 63:1009- 1037. Thornton Arland Duane F. Alwin and Donald Camburn. 1983. Causes and Consequences of Sex- Role Attitudes and Attitude Change. American Sociological Review 48:211-227. Woodberry Robert D. and Christian S. Smith. 1998. Fundamentalism et al.: Conservative Protestants in America. Annual Review of Sociology 24:25-56. Wuthnow Robert. 1988a. Sociology of Religion. In Neil J. Smelser (Ed.) Handbook of Sociology. Beverly Hills CA: Sage.


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