ERA Survey

The ERA Campaign Network

A nationwide network of people working to achieve
the addition of the Equal Rights Amendments to the U.S. Constitution

Web site: www.ERACampaign.net

Telephone: 609-799-0378

Fax: 609-275-3810

Address: 4 Canoe Brook Drive, Princeton Junction NJ 08550

A member of the National Council of Women’s Organizations (NCWO)

A nationwide survey shows that Americans want
a Constitutional guarantee of equal rights for women.

Introduction: Seeing the need for valid and reliable information on the views of the American people on equal rights for men and women, and on a potential Constitutional guarantee of those rights, the ERA Campaign Network, in 2001, commissioned a nationwide survey on those subjects. The survey was conducted for the ERA Campaign Network by Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) CARAVAN Services in July 2001. It involved telephone interviews among a national probability sample of 1,002 adults, comprising 500 men and 502 women, 18 years of age and older, living in private households in the continental United States. ORC’s CARAVAN surveys are conducted using the most advanced and reliable methodologies and technologies available. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percent for the sample as a whole, and plus or minus 4 percent for statistics based only on men or only on women, at the 95 percent confidence level. Note: Opinion Research Corporation, headquartered with its parent corporation ORC International in Princeton, New Jersey, has been known and respected for its high quality opinion and attitude research since its founding in 1938.

Findings: Overwhelmingly, Americans agree that male and female citizens should have equal rights, and the vast majority of Americans want those rights guaranteed by the US Constitution. Most, however, mistakenly assume that the Constitution already guarantees those rights. Eighty-eight percent want the Equal Rights Amendment adopted into the U.S. Constitution. This is in contrast to the 61 percent during the earlier ERA movement of 1972-1982, when 35 of the 38 required states did ratify it. Seventy-two percent now actually believe that ERA has already been adopted. Overall, 96 percent now believe that women and men should have equal rights. Those overall findings held true for both men and women, and for all the other demographic categories examined, by region, age, education, household income, race, and household makeup. Following are all the actual questions asked, with the tables showing the distribution of responses for the survey respondents as a whole, and for men and women separately. In those instances in which there are statistically significant differences in the responses of men vs. women, that is so indicated. (If not indicated, any observed differences are not statistically significant.)

1. “In your opinion, should male and female citizens of the United States have equal rights?”

Responses Total Men

Women

Yes 96% 95% 97%
No 3% 4% 2%
Don’t Know 1% 1% 1%
In all demographic categories studied, between 93 percent and 99 percent agree that male and female citizens should have equal rights.

2. “As far as you know, does the Constitution of the United States make it clear that male and female citizens are supposed to have equal rights?”

Responses Total Men Women
Yes 72% 62% 69%
No 18% 16% 21%
Don’t Know 10% 99% 10%%
* Statistically significant difference between men and women: Somewhat more women than men are aware that the Constitution does not make it clear.
In all other demographic categories studied, between 60 percent and 80 percent think the Constitution makes it clear that male and female citizens are supposed to have equal rights, while only between 13 percent and 25 percent think it does not. Younger people are somewhat more knowledgeable than older people in this regard: 22 percent of those in the 18-34 age range are aware that the Constitution does not make it clear, while only 15 percent of those 55 and up are aware – a statistically significant difference.

3. “In your opinion, should the Constitution make it clear that male and female citizens are supposed to have equal rights?”

Responses Total
Men
Women
YES 88%
85%*
91%*
NO 9%
11%*
6%*
Don’t know
3%
4%
3%
* Statistically significant differences between men and women: Somewhat more women than men believe the Constitution should make it clear.
In all other demographic categories studied, between 83 percent and 94 percent believe the Constitution should make it clear that male and female citizens are supposed to have equal rights.
Additional information:
For additional information on the survey, or on the current campaign to add the Equal Rights Amendment to the US Constitution as soon as possible, check the ERA Campaign Network website, www.ERACampaign.net, and/or contact National Coordinator Dr. Jennifer S. Macleod, e-mail ERACampaign@aol.com, telephone 609-799-0378, address 4 Canoe Brook Drive, Princeton Junction NJ 08550. Requests to be added to the distribution list for the free e-mail newsletter, The ERA Campaigner, are welcomed.