Document Type

Article

Abstract

Twenty-five years after title VII prohibited sex discrimination in employment, most women continue to work in low-paying, low-status, traditionally female jobs. Employers have avoided liability for sex segregation by arguing that women lack interest in more highly rewarded nontraditional jobs. In this analysis of title VII decisions addressing the lack of interest argument, Professor Schultz contends that courts have failed to recognize the role of employers in shaping women's work aspirations. Courts attribute sex segregation either to women's choice or to employer coercion. Both these explanations, however, incorrectly assume that women form stable preferences for traditional or nontraditional jobs before they begin working. Sociological research confirms that women develop their job preferences instead in response to changing structural and cultural features of work organizations. Professor Schultz draws on this research to propose a new way of understanding sex segregation that will enable courts to fulfill title VII's unrealized promise to working women.

Date of Authorship for this Version

1990

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