Women's Rights in the USA : Policy Debates and Gender Roles book cover
5th Edition

Women's Rights in the USA
Policy Debates and Gender Roles

ISBN 9781138833036
Published February 12, 2016 by Routledge
414 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Women’s Rights in the USA is a rigorous examination of the intersection of gender roles and public policy and the implications for feminist activists. The book places full information on state and federal statutes and court decisions in the context of the ebb and flow of debates that have engaged the public since the founding of the Republic. This fifth edition includes updates on all topics and expanded attention to same-sex marriage and lesbian issues, pay equity, conservative trends in courts, and women in elective politics.

This text is a resource for the inquiry into women’s rights politics and policies. It is a record of the changes in the major areas affecting gender roles and the status of women: constitutional law, political participation, reproduction, family law, education, work and pay, work and family, sexuality and economic status. It is more than a recital of laws, statutes and court decisions. The chapters focus on the development of the changes in debates over these issues and how the debates produce laws and provide the environment for their administration and interpretation. It also highlights the role, and impact, of feminists in the debates.

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

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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. Her books include The Politics of State Feminism; Comparative State Feminism; Abortion in the United States: A Reference Handbook; and Abortion Politics, Women's Movements, and the Democratic State, among others.

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


"Anyone seeking an up-to-date, comprehensive, and analytic overview of contemporary women's rights policies need look no further than this fifth edition of Women's Rights in the USA. McBride's and Parry's attention to the historic evolution of women's rights policies and the differential impact of policy on various subgroups of women are particular strengths."

-- Susan J. Carroll, Rutgers University

"Produced from the winning partnership between Janine Parry and Dorothy McBride, the fifth edition of Women’s Rights in the USA provides students, teachers, and scholars with a unique and empirically-rich source. Masterfully assessing the full range of areas where governments promote women’s rights and gender equality, the book maps out the messy start to finish process of policy development, including key information on practice and outcomes. This edition takes intersectionality and nuanced approaches to gender seriously by bringing-in new analyses of women in poverty, gay marriage, lesbian rights, and racial politics. The enhanced visual materials make it even more student and teacher friendly making the book’s intersectional, historical, cross-sectoral, multi-level and comparative perspectives highly useful and effective for undergraduate classrooms."

-- Amy G. Mazur, Washington State University

"Women's Rights in the USA continues to be the gold standard for any class involving women's policy. The mix of policy history and development with up-to-date topics, like emergency contraception, eldercare, and pay equity, gives the ideal background to undergraduates or graduate students alike."

-- Tracy Osborn, University of Iowa