Trends in Abortion Attitudes by Race and Gender: A Reassessment Over a Four Decade Period

J. Scott Carter, Shannon K. Carter, Jamie Dodge


The purpose of this paper is to reassess the interactive impact of race and gender on abortion attitudes over time.  Data from the GSS are used to compare shifts in abortion attitudes of White and Black males and females over a four decade period.  Overall results suggest gender to be the stronger predictor of abortion attitudes.  While maintaining similar attitudes toward abortion, White and Black males maintain more conservative attitudes than their female counterparts.  Looking at trends, however, suggest that considering race and gender alone limits the understanding of abortion attitudes among these social groups.  Results by decade reveal great shifts for White females in relation to Black females.  White females and White males to a lesser extent initially appear more liberal in their views toward abortion; however, a shift over the decades produces a convergence and then a reversal, where Black females eventually become more liberal in the 1990s.  Black males consistently reveal more conservative attitudes over the four decade period than Black females and that trend appears to be holding. However, most interestingly and an area for further research, results suggest that abortion attitudes may actually be re-converging.  

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Copyright (c) 2009 J. Scott Carter, Shannon K. Carter, Jamie Dodge

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Journal of Sociological Research ISSN 1948-5468


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