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What about women? Do the iGens show higher levels of equality and integration? Jean Twenge studies this in her 7th chp (Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled–and More Miserable Than Ever Before).

What are the biggest differences today for women that were not available, say, 20 years ago or more? What is the biggest challenge facing women in the equality challenge? Who wants to speak to the contradictory existence that I mention at the bottom of this post?

Before the 60s, medical schools capped enrollment for women at 5% and in the 70s women were no news anchors, few lawyers, and even fewers scientists. (We won’t mention theologians and pastors.)

Today: women earn 57% of college degrees and almost half in law and medicine. 72% of married couples have dual incomes.

Roles of women have changed. Increasingly there are feminist attitudes. What was once hippie is now mainstream. The feminist trend is connected to the individual self trend.

“The average 1990s college woman reported more ‘masculine’ traits than 80% of Boomer college women in the early 1970s” (193). In the 1990s men’s and women’s scores on historic masculine traits were indistinguishable. The traits are not masculine but human.

Assertiveness measures: she studied more than 52,000 women to show that self-reported assertiveness has grown significantly. There is no longer a sex difference on assertiveness scales and results. Today, women, income and education are more central to women’s identity.

Men? Has this affected men? “Maybe, maybe not.” Women have become more stereotypically masculine but men have only slightly become more “nurturing.” Men are clearly more involved, but the changes are not significant toward stereotypical feminine traits.

Issue: iGen women are expected to carry more of the burden and they have a contradictory existence: they can do anything (so they are told) but when they have children that “anything” is connected more to what can be done from the home. So now standards for mothering have reached unrealistic heights. And they are spending more time one on one with kids now than they did in the 60s and 70s!

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