Women's Rights in the USA: Policy Debates and Gender Roles, 4th Edition (Paperback) book cover

Women's Rights in the USA

Policy Debates and Gender Roles, 4th Edition

By Dorothy E. McBride, Janine A. Parry

© 2011 – Routledge

392 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415804523
pub: 2010-12-02
Hardback: 9780415804721
pub: 2010-12-02

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About the Book

In Women’s Rights in the USA, Fourth Edition, McBride and Parry examine the policy debates critical to women in American society. Analyzing both the historical contexts and current controversies, the authors show the processes behind the statutes, court cases, and administrative rules pertaining to issues such as education, work pay, family, sexuality, and economic status and examine the role of women activists in shaping them.

This fourth edition also features updates on contemporary issues of women and public policy, including same-sex marriage and lesbian issues, pay equity, conservative trends in courts, reproductive rights, and women in electoral politics. Themed boxes highlight information in five areas: Personal Stories; Intersections; Equality and Difference: Cases; Equality and Difference: Laws; and Voices in Debates.


"This new edition of Women’s Rights in the USA is a formidable teaching tool and scholarly resource. Its broad scope conveys a wealth of expertise in an interesting and accessible way. The book provides historical context and a framework for understanding women’s rights, policymaking, and feminist activism—all with timely details about where women are in American public policy today."

-- Kira Sanbonmatsu, Rutgers University

"Women's Rights in the USA is a capacious survey of both the theory and practice of women's rights. The text includes discussion of a wide array of identity and interest group perspectives, feminist and non-feminist theories, and political and legal issues. Students and instructors will find clear, broad coverage of important terms, ideas, actors, cases, debates, and policies. An excellent foundation from which to launch class discussions."

--Carisa R. Showden, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

"Women's Rights in the USA is a wonderful text for classes on both women in politics and public policy. The detailed historical background on the public policies considered here gives students a rich understanding of the development of policy over time that is lacking in other texts on women and policy."

--Tracy Osborn, University of Iowa

"This book provides insightful historical and social context for women and politics in the U.S. McBride and Parry are theoretically strong on the intersections of gender, race, sexualities, and social class within women and politics. The authors’ discussion of balance between gender differences and legal equality is compelling."

--Laura R. Woliver, University of South Carolina

"The fourth edition of Women’s Rights in the USA is an insightful analytical text. McBride and Parry grapple with the most pressing contemporary policy issues confronting women with a keen eye to the ways these issues impact women differently along the lines of race, class, and sexuality. The authors do a truly outstanding job in providing historical accounts that trace the origins of contemporary public policies, Such an analysis offers students and scholars alike a rich appreciation for the gains women enjoy today and a deep understanding of the fragility of women’s rights."

--Wendy G. Smooth, The Ohio State University

Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. The U.S. Constitution; 3. Political Resources; 4. Reproduction; 5. Education; 6. Family; 7. Work and Pay; 8. Work and Family; 9. Sexuality: Regulation; 10. Sexuality: Intimidation; 11. Economic Status

About the Authors

Dorothy E. McBride is Professor Emerita of Political Science at Florida Atlantic University and co-convener of the Research Network on Gender Politics and the State.

Janine A. Parry is Professor of Political Science at the University of Arkansas.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Civil Rights