Feminist Attitudes

Feminist Attitudes includes 16 items that capture attitudes regarding abortion, sexual behavior, gender roles in the public sphere, and family responsibilities. The items are derived from the General Social Survey (Davis et al., 1999) and these items were previously selected to measure these constructs in another paper(Plutzer, 1988).


Geographies Tested: United States of America

Populations Included: Female, Male

Age Range:


Please tell me whether or not you think it should be possible for a pregnant woman to obtain a legal abortion if...
1. If there is a strong chance of serious defect in the baby?
2. If she is married and does not want any more children?
3. If the woman’s own health is seriously endangered by the pregnancy?
4. If the family has a very low income and cannot afford any more children?
5. If she became pregnant as a result of rape?
6. If she is not married and does not want to marry the man?
7. The woman wants it for any reason?

Sexual Behavior
There's been a lot of discussion about the way morals and attitudes about sex are changing in this country.
8. If a man and a woman have sex relations before marriage, do you think it is...
9. What about sexual relations between two adults of the same sex - do you think it is...

Response Options:
Always wrong
Almost always wrong
Wrong only
Not wrong at all

Gender Roles in the Public Sphere
Do you agree or disagree with this statement?
10. Women should take care of running their homes and leave running the country to men.
11. Most men are better suited emotionally for politics than are most women.

Response Options:

12. If your party nominated a woman for President, would you vote for her if she were qualified for the job?

Family Responsibilities
Now I'm going to read several more statements. As I read each one, please tell me whether you strongly agree, agree, disagree, or strongly disagree.
13. A working mother can establish just as warm and secure a relationship with her children as a woman who does not work.
14. It is more important for a wife to help her husband's career than have one herself.
15. A preschool child is likely to suffer if herhis mother works.
16. It is better if the man is the achiever outside the home and the woman takes care of the home and the family.

Response Options:
Strongly agree
Strongly disagree

Scoring Procedures

All subscale scores are constructed by summing its items. Items are recoded so that high scores represent pro-feminist positions. Recoded items are not specified.

Original Citation

Bolzendahl, C. I., & Myers, D. J. (2004). Feminist attitudes and support for gender equality: Opinion change in women and men, 1974-1998. Social Forces, 83(2), 759-790.

Psychometric Score

Ease of Use Score

Scoring breakdown

Formative Research

Qualitative Research

Existing Literature/Theoretical Framework

Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing








Criterion (gold-standard)



Ease of Use


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