Categories Anthropology I

I.2.4 Impact of feminist movements on family.

  1. Feminist movements and the increased entry of women into the workplace beginning in the twentieth century has affected gender roles and the division of labor within the family.
  2. Better education has resulted in greater financial independence and more career choices for women.
  3. Women have begun to shun marriage. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2005, unmarried households became the majority of all U.S. households.
  4. Even after they marry, many of today’s women put their careers above children, or put off having a family for several years.
  5. The changing status of women has lead to a more equal division of household responsibilities. 6. Husbands increased their participation by only a small amount and the wives reduced the number of hours they devote to various household tasks. The most pressing problem in a family as a result is that of child care. A majority of working mothers pay for child care, even if not on a daily basis.
  6. It has resulted in children feeling deprived of mother’s attention. Many believe that this will effect children adversely leading to psychological problems and deviant behavior. But various studies have proved this notion as wrong.
  7. It has affected the sex role attitudes of children. In general, when mothers work their children are more likely to approve of working women and of a more egalitarian division of domestic tasks.
  8. The additional income of wives have improved the standards of families in which women work.
  9. But some studies have reported that husbands of working wives experience less marital satisfaction with their marriages and a generally lower mental and physical well being than husbands whose wives stay at home.
  10. With women becoming more independent and assertive, the divorce rates have shown an increasing trend.
  11. The increased contribution of women to family income has given them a stronger voice in family decisions.
  12. All these changes are substantial in some societies but insignificant in many.

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