Adolescent Sex Roles and Social Change

Adolescent Sex Roles and Social Change

Adolescent Sex Roles and Social Change

Adolescent Sex Roles and Social Change

Excerpt

This book is concerned with changing sex roles and with some aspects of the changing society that contains them.

As in the recent studies by Duncan andDuncan (1978) and Veroff,Douvan , andKulka (1981), it uses an earlier survey as baseline data for the examination of change or stability revealed by later replication of the instrument in the same social context. In the present case, the baseline data were created by a 1964 survey carried out by a curriculum study council made up of twenty Wisconsin high schools. The purpose of the council was to carry out applied research within the member schools directed toward curriculum improvement and development. The goal of the 1964 survey was to develop data on the characteristics related to the post-high school experience of the students, especially the noncollege-bound student. I was lucky enough to be involved in this enterprise as a research associate serving a university urban studies team that provided resources to the council, and thus was able to suggest variables especially pertinent to achievement and occupational goals, in addition to the items on educational experiences and evaluations. The overall cluster of variables plus transcript information resulting from that effort are the baseline data for the present examination of sex role change and social change.

In the early 1970s it occurred to me that the 1964 baseline data were well suited to the study of sex difference and change among the adolescent seniors and proposed the research to the now latent study council. In spite of the numerous surveys being conducted in the high schools that spring, the real concerns at that time about invasion of privacy and the problems associated with the intense advocacy of the protection of human subjects, even in survey research, the administrations of seventeen of the original high schools agreed to the survey (delayed one year because of funding problems). The result was to establish a rich cluster of variables on adolescent experience, goals, values, and behavior.

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