Name English 23 November 2013 OUTLINE The Evolution of Women’s Roles in Society I. Introduction II. The Decision to Get Married and Raise a Family First or Pursue Education and Career First A. Factors influencing the decision B. When women get married and raise children first C…
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As a result, more women were more open to the idea of sticking to the traditional perception of women as housewives and PAs, as opposed to high flying career women (Empey 152). While women ascribed to feminist opinions that suggested otherwise, many still harbored conservative perceptions which characterized them as having intrinsic limitations and therefore unable to choose between careers and marriage (Empey 152). In high schools and colleges, young women were found to have aspirations that saw them stick to the traditional roles regarding family and gender. A further study carried out on a sample of 1194 girls spread across high schools and colleges in Washington revealed that 80% of them preferred marriage to careers, while only 8% preferred careers to marriage (Empey 152); the remaining 12% was unsure about where they stood. The overwhelming majority of the sample stated that the most important role of women in the society was to get married and raise a family. The small remaining percentage favored both career and marriage as being a woman’s most significant obligations to society (Empey 152). Some other responses to the survey that support this stance include the opinion of majority of the surveyed women that they would not take up jobs to which their significant others were opposed; they would not move away from their families immediately they had settled, in pursuit of better career prospects elsewhere; and they felt a greater sense of accountability towards preserving the repose of their families (Empey 152). Fast-forward to the 1970s and the number of women pursuing professional postgraduate programs upon completion of their college education rose sharply in the United States (Goldin and Katz 730). Expectedly, the age at which women got married for the first time also escalated drastically (Goldin and Katz 730). Beginning in the 1970s, more and more women began to venture into professional courses such as law and medicine; a scenario which saw the number of female law graduates increase by well over 26% between 1970 and 1986 (Goldin and Katz 730). In the same breath, the number of married women among college graduates began to take a dip (Goldin and Katz 731). While Goldin and Katz attribute this phenomenon to the increased popularity of the birth control pills, what is agreeable is that more and more women postponed the decision to get married to much later years than before. The pill was seen by women as giving them more sexual freedom without facing the consequences of unwanted pregnancies and hence facilitating the ability of women to invest in their careers in the long term. More women found that the pill enabled them to delay marriage and engage in establishing their careers, as the pill greatly reduced the cost of doing this in what Goldin and Katz refer to as “reducing the cost is the marriage market” (731). The overall effect was that women could delay marriage for as long as they pleased. The number of women graduating from college and getting married within two years of leaving college plunged (Goldin and Katz 731). Consequently, more women compared to men began to pursue professional courses after graduation from college. In the present the day, the situation has changed even more significantly. According to Wallop, more and more women are getting married in their 30s and 40s than ever before (telegraph.co.uk). The mean age which women found appropriate to get married in 2008 was 29.9
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