Further, the on-campus interviews, because they go into much more depth, can reveal what lies behind some of the responses to structured questions and, therefore, can provide insights not revealed by the national survey results.
It is important, however, not to use them for estimates of the precise prevalence of any of the phenomena studied.
Career aspirations that were once restricted largely to men are now common among college women.
Half a century ago, few college women had parents who had divorced.
Since none of the 62 women interviewed in the qualitative portion of the study were enrolled in church-related institutions or in nonelite state-supported colleges, it is not surprising that these women were, on average, less religious than the women in the national sample and less traditional in some of their attitudes (see the comparisons in Appendix A, Table 2, available only in the pdf version of this report).
The largest and probably most important difference is that 78 percent of the national sample but only 37 percent of the qualitative study subjects "strongly agreed" with the statement, "I have a clear sense of what I should do in my romantic/sexual interactions" – an indication of greater confusion among women in the latter group.
Another important change affecting the mating behavior of college women is the sexual revolution, in which sexual relations between unmarried men and women became much more socially acceptable.
Numerous scholars are conducting research that investigates how marriages succeed and how troubled marriages can be improved.
In addition, because women often depended on their husbands for social standing and economic security, it was not uncommon for women to drop out of college once they found a husband. As can be seen in Figure 1 (available only in the pdf version of this report), significant changes had occurred by 1980, by which time more women than men were enrolled in U. This change has reduced the opportunities for women to find desirable husbands at college.
Further, the great increase in divorce in the late 1960s and 1970s made it more hazardous for women to rely on husbands for economic security and social standing.
In the years following World War II, college enrollments were swelled by veterans, who were mainly men, continuing their education under the GI Bill; by 1950 there were more than twice as many men as women on college campuses.
This trend made for an environment rich with possibilities for women interested in finding husbands, and it is likely that finding a desirable husband was one motivation for many women's college attendance through the 1950s and into the 1960s. The number of men per 100 women (the sex ratio) has continued to decline since that time, dropping to only 79 in 1997.