The study, to be presented on Saturday at the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting in New York, looks at race, gender and education in shaping gender ideology over four decades.
"We show how labour market dynamics work hand-in-hand with social classifications by race, gender and education in shaping the contour of American gender ideology in the last four decades," the researchers from University of California said.
Although the last half of the 1900s saw much progress, the trajectory of attitudes about gender equality slowed in recent decades as men began to work longer hours and took on increased responsibilities to get ahead at work, nudging their wives into more traditional roles at home.
This influence on negative attitudes toward women's work was widespread. The decline in egalitarian attitude was starkest among highly educated, high-salaried white people in professional jobs, researchers said.
For the study, the research team looked at data from the General Social Survey for the years 1977-2016, seeking to learn how changes in the labour market affected attitudes of different demographic groups.
The sample consists of more than 26,000 US individuals, both men and women, who are both black and white, aged 16 and older, who are single, married and with or without children, of various political ideologies and religions.
Participants answered a series of questions about their attitudes about women in politics, the workplace, men's and women's social roles, and other issues.
Researchers found that college-educated respondents report more egalitarian attitudes than less-educated respondents. It was also found that women reacted more positively towards egalitarianism than men.
( With inputs from IANS )