Saturday, November 04, 2006

Mexican women second most concerned about women's rights: Americans were asked by the General Social Survey (GSS) how important women's rights were to them. Answers ranged from "not at all" (=4) to "one of the most important issues" (=1). I calculated the means for women from ethnic groups with sufficiently large samples. I subtracted the means from 4 so that higher numbers indicate greater feminism. Here they are:


Mean feminist score

Blacks 1.94
Mexicans 1.91
American Indians 1.83
Italians 1.82
Germans 1.70
Irish 1.74
English/Welsh 1.58

It is interesting that the women from the most gender-traditional ethnic groups are the ones most concerned about women's issues. There are at least a couple possible reasons for this: 1) these groups are poorer and more liberal, and feminism goes with liberalism; and 2) these groups have the worst behaving men.

But I thought Mexican women were paragons of traditional family values? These women may not be advanced feminists of the you-must-be-a-lesbian-to-be-liberated type, but evidently they won't be voting in sync with Focus on the Family.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is no surprise to me that black women have the highest mean feminist score if the criteria is having the worst behaving men. It is unfortunate, but looking at balck culture as a whole, I would have to agree with that premise.

Julian said...

The really interesting finding here seems to be that American women generally find "women's rights" somewhat unimportant. They cluster on the "not important" side of the question. If even Mexican women aren't worked up about the issue, then I suggest American women are not very pro-feminist at all.

In fact, it is really surprising that - even in a survey of opinions - there is so little interest.