Family & Society

Gender roles are formed and reinforced from earliest childhood through family relations, social and cultural strictures and norms. Today, family structures are shifting as nuclear and extended families undergo transformations due to economic and societal changes. The traditional archetype of one father and one mother plus children reflects only 25 percent of families in the U.S. Parental roles are also evolving as single-parent, same-sex couples and adoptive parents become increasingly common. Laws and employment policies are gradually reflecting these changes but more effort needs to be focused on providing family-friendly support from affordable, accessible, quality child and elder care to flexible work arrangements.

Women's Demand for Reproductive Control: Understanding and Addressing Gender Barriers

 Millions of women each year experience unintended pregnancies, and millions more have unmet need for family planning. One of the persistent gaps in knowledge is the role of gender barriers that women face in defining and achieving their reproductive intentions. This paper provides a gender analysis of women’s demand for reproductive control. This analysis illuminates how the social construction of gender affects fertility preferences, unmet need, and the barriers that women face to using contraception and safe abortion. It also helps to bridge important dichotomies in the population, family planning, and reproductive health fields.

Jennifer McCleary-Sills, Allison McGonagle, Anju Malhotra


Tools for Student Parent Success: Varieties of Campus Child Care

 This toolkit is the first in a series by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR). It introduces the wide variety of child care services that exist at institutions of higher learning. Rather than an exhaustive study of campus child care programs, it is an introduction to possible options. It is for those seeking to provide quality child care at colleges or universities and for those considering how to expand or rethink existing services.


Women & Time: What Makes Her Tick - Executive Summary 2012

The results of a new groundbreaking national survey,Women and Time: Setting a New Agenda, commissioned by Real Simple and designed by the nonprofit Families and Work Institute reveal that much of the time pressure experienced by women is self-imposed, due to trouble delegating and letting go of control. However, the survey also discovered that women who set aside regular free time are ultimately more satisfied with their lives(50% report being very satisfied, versus 41% of those who regularly postpone their free time).
"There is a startling connection between scheduling free time and happiness—and an equally startling connection between the ability to delegate and happiness," said Kristin van Ogtrop, Managing Editor, Real Simple.

Volunteering in the United States, 2011

The volunteer rate rose by 0.5 percentage point to 26.8 percent for the year ending in September 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. About 64.3 million people volunteered through or for an organization at least once between September 2010 and September 2011. The increase in the volunteer rate in 2011 followed a decline of equal size in 2010.

These data on volunteering were collected through a supplement to the September 2011 Current Population Survey (CPS). The supplement was sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service. The CPS is a monthly survey of about 60,000 households that obtains information on employment and unemployment among the nation's civilian noninstitutional population age 16 and over. Volunteers are defined as persons who did unpaid work (except for expenses)
through or for an organization. For more information about the volunteer supplement, see the Technical Note.

Volunteering Among Demographic Groups


Women across generations: expectations and aspirations

 Almost every week there is a new headline about women’s position in society: on unemployment, parenting, women having or not having ‘it all’, the gender pay gap, and women’s representation in politics and on company boards.

And while there has certainly been progress for many women in the UK – as shown by more women entering the workforce and gaining educational qualifications – persistent challenges such as the pay gap and under-representation in many areas of society remain. This, alongside dynamic social and demographic trends, highlights the diversity of families in today’s society.


First Marriages in the United States: Data From the 2006–2010 National Survey of Family Growth

 Objectives—This report from the National Center for Health Statistics shows trends and group differences in current marital status, with a focus on first marriages among women and men aged 15–44 years in the United States. Trends and group differences in the timing and duration of first marriages are also discussed. These data are based on the 2006–2010 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG). National estimates of probabilities of first marriage by age and probabilities of separation and divorce for women and men’s first marriages are presented by a variety of demographic characteristics. Data are compared with similar measures for 1982, 1995, and 2002.

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