NEW YORK (TrustLaw) - Half of American women said that, if given the choice to do either, they would prefer a job outside the home rather than stay home and take care of the house and family, according to a new Gallup poll.
In a poll of 1,012 adults conducted in August, Gallup found that 51 percent of women preferred to work outside the home, while 44 percent preferred a domestic role.
Although they have fluctuated over the last 20 years, these percentages are nearly mirror images of Gallup's findings in 1992, when 54 percent of women said they would prefer to stay at home, while 42 percent opted for outside work.
At the same time, American men's attitudes about working have hardly budged in 20 years. In 1992, 72 percent of them said they wanted to work outside the home compared with 21 percent who said they'd like to take care of the home and family.
In 2012, 76 percent - the highest number since Gallup polled on this -said they preferred to work outside the home, while 22 percent would like to stay at home.
Gallup found that age was a minor factor in the lifestyle preferences of women and played no role in the choices of men. Women aged 50 and over were slightly more likely - 48 percent - to indicate a preference for staying at home than the 41 percent of women aged 18 to 49.
The level of education and the marital status influenced women's choices, but not men's, according to Gallup.
Some 57 percent of women with at least some college education preferred working outside compared with 38 percent of their counterparts who preferred to be homemakers.
About 53 percent of women with no higher education preferred to stay home compared to 41 percent who wanted to have an outside job.
Unmarried women clearly preferred working outside the home - 55 percent compared with 42 percent - if it was their choice. Married women were about evenly split, Gallup said.