Women, Work, and Expectations: Putting it All Together



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This longitudinal study examined the relationship between college women’s division of labor expectations and their actual division of labor outcomes, emphasizing expectations of and actual egalitarian marriages. A total of 202 undergraduate women were surveyed in 2003 about their attitudes surrounding work and family and their preferences for different division of labor scenarios. Out of these women, 67 married mothers completed this survey about their current divisions of labor, attitudes regarding work and family, careers, and spouses’ attributes, and data from 58 of these women were included in the analyses. Regressions showed that these women’s attitudes and expectations from college were largely not predictive of their current divisions of labor, but that their current attitudes surrounding work and family, their careers, and spouses’ attributes were predictive of their current divisions of labor. Findings indicate that promoting and supporting egalitarian marriages involves more than planning on egalitarianism.



division of labor, motherhood ideology, egalitarian marriage, working women, college women