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Aghananian, Akbar; Tashakkori, Abbas; Thompson, Vaida D.; Mehryar, Amir H.; & Kazemipour, Shahla (2007). Attitudes of Iranian Female Adolescents toward Education and Nonfamilial Roles: A Study of a Postrevolutionary Cohort. Marriage & Family Review, 42(1), 49-64.


We examined factual data on education and work participation of women and attitudinal data on education and nonfamilial role intentions of Iranian female high school students from four ethnically and culturally diverse communities in Iran. These adolescents had been exposed throughout their lives to government policies and legal changes aimed at assuring that behavior and attitudes of young people would reflect true Islamic values pertaining to marriage, childbearing, and household roles. Our comparative analysis of education and career intentions across communities and classes revealed that, despite the conventional wisdom and some speculation by social scientists and journalists, Iranian adolescents born and raised in the first 15 years after the Islamic Revolution demonstrated largely positive attitudes toward educational and marriage roles. Furthermore, unlike in prior cohorts, there were few differences attributable to social class or community of origin. There were indications that attitudes were more traditional in communities with strong tribal social organization, but attitudes in these communities converged toward those of adolescents in more urban communities. Our findings tend to throw into question media images and to some extent some scholarly writings that have suggested the presence of a strong shift toward conservative-traditional roles for women in the Muslim countries. Despite the occasional strong political and religious rhetoric disfavoring women's working roles, it is likely that it is demographic and economic circumstances that deter young women from achieving the education and careers that they favor.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Marriage & Family Review


Aghananian, Akbar
Tashakkori, Abbas
Thompson, Vaida D.
Mehryar, Amir H.
Kazemipour, Shahla