Changing Female Roles
The fact that women’s own attitudes about gender roles were changing rapidly was a major factor that helped make the move toward equal coeducation. Young American women had developed higher expectations for their own successes in life (Patterson 2005). More women were beginning to place less value in the traditional sex roles that perpetuated the idea that women were the “homemakers” and men should be the “breadwinners” (Mason, Czajka and Arber 1976). The benefit for women to remain in their traditional role was declining, divorce rates were rising, female-headed families were becoming more common, and the number of married women in the labor force was rising as well. In addition, fewer women still held the belief that working while raising their family would have negative effects on their children or their marriage. Therefore, women became less and less attracted to staying home and the incentive to break out of their traditional role in society grew (Mason, Czajka and Arber 1976).