Document Type

Article

Citation Information

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Abstract

The fiftieth anniversary of Title VII's ban on sex discrimination provides an occasion to reflect on its successes and failures in achieving workplace sex equality. Although considerable progress has occurred, advances have been both uneven and unsteady. This Article shows that a primary limit on legal reform has been attitudinal. Before and after Title VII's enactment, private and public officials have defended sex discrimination and inequality by appealing to naturalized conceptions of sex difference. Persistent stereotypes portray women as more devoted to family roles than work roles and, consequently, less committed to their jobs than men. Similar stereotypes portray women as primarily interested in female-typed jobs said to reward feminine traits and values. Viewed through the lens of such assumptions, sex-based disparities in employment are not inequalities: They are the inevitable expression of innate and cultural sex differences.

Date of Authorship for this Version

2015

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Law Commons

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