Methods: A critical review was selected based on (1) the scope of the literature and (2) the study aim. Over 5,000 titles were reviewed, with 184 articles screened in for a more in-depth review. Application of the review inclusion criteria resulted in a final pool of 69 articles that quantitatively examined life course factors that shape gender equitable attitudes. Across the 69 studies, 38 unique measurement approaches to assessing GEA were used, 12 original scales, 12 unique or one-time measurement approaches, and 14 representative, large scale data sources.
Results: We describe these three types of measures and analyze the ways they assess GEA across six defined measurement dimensions, drawn from David and Greenstein (2009) and Halimi et al. (2018): (1) conceptual definition of gender equity-related construct (2) life domains, (3) developmental period, (4) cultural context, (5) internal consistency, and (6) number of items. Overall, in the conceptual definition of GEA, there remains a great deal of variability in terms of how the construct of GEA is defined and measured. Within the life domain dimension, more measures assessed GEA within the private sphere (family life) compared to the public sphere (political). Within the developmental period dimension, the scales tended to center GEA in adulthood, limiting opportunities to understand GEA across the life course.
Conclusions and Implications: Based on these findings, we first make the case for the refinement/expansion of our GEA conceptualization to include a broader array of contexts in which these attitudes play out (e.g., education, politics, parenthood, day to day life) and to assess the degree to which measures exist in each of these realms. Second, we argue that GEA measures need to be more inclusive of all gender and sexual identities, and across the life course. Third, as a collective understanding of gender equity moves beyond labor participation and into broader human rights across all life domains, it will be important to augment available measures with those that tap into overt support for gender equality related to rights and access.