Sex Role and Attitudinal Correlates of Desired Family Size

Alice H. Eagly*, Pamela Anderson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


A survey conducted in 1971 with college students as respondents tested the hypothesis that persons approving of a relatively equivalent pattern of sex roles desire to have smaller families than do persons approving of less equivalent sex roles. Though the hypothesis was confirmed for the number of children that Ss desired to procreate, approval of sex role equivalence appeared to be only one component of a more general pattern in which Ss who desired to procreate fewer children were nontraditional in their attitudes. Thus, to the extent that Ss approved of equivalent sex roles, favored Women's Liberation, opposed conservatism, favored liberalism, and considered themselves nonreligious, they tended to have smaller family size goals for biological parenthood. However, the role and attitudinal predictors related less strongly to the total number of children desired (i.e., the sum total of the number of children desired as a biological parent plus the number of adoptions desired).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-158
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1974

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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