Traditional Gender Roles Shifting Among Teens

Although teenagers still perceive child-rearing as “woman’s work,” nearly 40 percent of teenage girls in the United States expect to be primary breadwinners for their families while their husbands stay home and raise the children.

The 1999 Roper Youth Report conducted annually by Roper Starch Worldwide also found that 38 percent of girls believed their husbands would stay home with the children. Roper Vice President Peter Silsbee commented “it reinforces how confident they are about their future earning potential and increasing economic equality and illustrates how much the world of work has changed over the past 25 years in America.”

A full 25 percent of boys anticipated staying home to raise their children. Silsbee remarked it was notable that a full quarter of boys even considered child-rearing an option “further signaling the erosion of sharply divided gender responsibilities.” The survey was based on a national cross-section of 1,214 children ages six to 17 between April 3 and May 17, 1999 with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.


Reuters - November 12, 1999

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