Bachelor, Stanford University, 1969; Master of Arts, University of California, Berkeley, 1974; Doctor of Philosophy, University of California, Berkeley, 1981.
She is considered as an authority on such subjects as gender equality particularly within relationships and marriages, changing gender roles, family housework patterns, travel patterns, finances and how they affect household formation, and other aspects of changing family life. Her research is often based on qualitative interviews. She is a tenured professor at New York University.
She argued that changes in workplace policies affected thinking about gender roles, and that gender boundaries were "blurring". Her examinations of young people who were dating found it less likely that women were seeking men with large "paychecks" and men seeking women as "sex objects", but rather that both sexes were "looking for the whole package". She argued that women who left the workforce did not do so simply to care for children but rather that the motivations were "much more complicated." Her studies detailed numerous stresses on modern marriages, with couples striving to find satisfying relationships while divvying chores in egalitarian ways.
In recent years, as persons age, they will move in and out of "different types of families" during their lives, according to her research. She found that men are less concerned if their girlfriend or wife earns more than they do, and more concerned with longer-term issues such as affording a house. She said that Americans were less likely to spend more time on vacation, compared to Europeans, partially because of a culture of "vacation-shaming" and not purely economic concerns.
( How do women choose between work and family commitments...)
Member American Sociological Association, Eastern Sociological Society, Society for the Study of Social Problems, Sociologists for Women in Society.
Married John Hull Mollenkopf, November 27, 1981. 1 child: Emily.