Japanese Sociological Review
Online ISSN : 1884-2755
Print ISSN : 0021-5414
ISSN-L : 0021-5414
Higher Education and the Sexual Division of Labor
the schooling effect on women's continuous full-time employment
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1997 Volume 48 Issue 2 Pages 130-142


This paper discusses the effect of education on Japanese women's continuous full-time employment (CFE). Excluding women employed in family enterprises, we focus on the modern sexual division of labor-the division between occupational and domestic labor. First, we confirm with 1955-95 Japan census data that the number of full-time working women has been maintained, despite a substantial rise in their educational standards. Then we analyze personal histories of Japanese women collected through two nationwide surveys at 1985 and 1995.
It seems, upon the first examination, that university graduates tend to pursue CFE. But this correlation between education and CFE disappears when the teaching field is exempted. The correlation is only a conditional one, made up with the known fact that the teaching profession provides significantly greater opportunities for CFE to highly educated women. Since the number of teachers is independent of the number of university graduates, it is difficult to relate fluctuations in the CFE rate and the educational standards.
A logistic regression (excluding teachers) reports that women's education would have no significant effect on CFE, even if their husbands' occupational status and their own occupational status before marriage were kept constant.
The results reject theories of the schooling effect, such as the Sexist Education theory and the Human Capital theory. We conclude that school has no effect on CFE, and that changes in educational standards can hardly alter the sexual division of labor.

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