By Paula D. Nesbitt
Feminization is said to occur when women enter any given occupation in substantial numbers, and ostensibly leads to such dynamics as sex-segregation, reduced opportunities for men, and depressed wages and diminished prestige for the occupation as a whole. Spanning more than 70 years, Paula Nesbitt's study of feminization concentrates on the Episcopal Church and the Unitarian Universalist Association, utilizing both statistical results and interviews to compare occupational patterns prior and subsequent to the large influx of women clergy. Among her findings, the author discovers that a decline in men's opportunities is evident before the 1970s, preceding the great influx of women over the last two decades. She also finds that increases in the number of women ordained reduced occupational prospects for other women, but enhanced those for men, thus contradicting the popular myth that women in the workplace are responsible for occupational decline.