Background informations on the questions in BHPS/US data regarding gender equality
I'm using the British Household Panel data 1991-2007 in my master thesis. I'm especially interested in the survey questions regarding the respondants' attitudes towards gender equality in the household. This includes the variables named (w)opfama, (w)opfamb, (w)opfamc, (w)opfamd, (w)opfame and (w)opfamf. I am wondering if there is any documentation or litteratur which reasons why exactly these questions were formulated and what kind of gender dimentions they were thought, back in 1991, to tap. I have already been in contact With the UK Data Service Support, but they I have could not find details on the origin of these questionnaire items. There is no dedicated user forum for the BHPS. The UK Data Service therefore suggested that I should contact you. I have searched your existing queries but could not find any queries relating to these gender attitude variables. I hope that you can provide me some background information on these gender related questions. Thank you in advance.
Updated by Victoria Nolan over 4 years ago
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Many thanks for your enquiry and I'm sorry for the delay in getting back to you.
These questions are ones which have been carried for many years (prior to BHPS starting) on a number of international surveys including ISSP, US surveys such as the National Survey of Families and Households, and subsequently the ESS for example. The decision to include them in the BHPS was therefore to provide comparability with a number of other sources. It is also known that these sorts of gender role attitudes change very slowly over time so a long run of data is needed and having comparability with other sources that predated BHPS was thought to be helpful.
We can suggest that you look at the research done by Jackie Scott (Cambridge) who has used these gender attitudes measures extensively over the years and was responsible for their inclusion on the BHPS. http://www.sociology.cam.ac.uk/people/academic-staff/jscott
We hope this helps,
Best wishes, Victoria
On behalf of the Understanding Society Data User Support Team