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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois in the Cold War Era 1945-1975: Second Wave Feminism on Campus

Second Wave Feminism

Women’s Student Union publication, 1977

Whereas the main thrust of first-wave feminism had centered on suffrage, the second-wave feminism emanating in the 1960s focused on a host of issues including economic parity, educational equity, and reproductive rights.  At the University of Illinois, female students energized by the Civil Rights movement and the anti-war activities formed a host of women’s groups on campus and pushed for gender equity.  In 1972, Title IX (the Equal Opportunity in Education Act) prohibited gender discrimination in American educational institutions, opening up new opportunities in academics and athletics from college women.

University of Illinois Sources:

Women's Resources and Services Subject File, 1964-1991 (RS 41/3/10)

Women's Student Union Records, 1974-84 (RS 41/66/100)

Assistant Dean's Subject File, 1969-1972 (RS 41/3/12): Subject File of Mary Pollack includes information on sex education, the University Women's Caucus, and Women's Week.

Women's Resources and Services Reference File, 1959-88 (RS 41/3/9): Contains clippings, booklets, articles, and brochures concerning issues of topical interest to women in general and the women's movement.

Student Organizations Publications, 1871- (RS 41/6/840): Includes information from the Abortion Rights Coalition, National Organization of Women, and Women’s Independent Student Association, among others.

Student and Faculty Org. Constitutions & Registration Cards, (RS 41/2/41): Includes many women’s organizations.

Graduate Student Association Subject Files, 1967-71 (RS 41/62/15):  Box 3 includes information on women’s groups on campus.

Daily Illini, 1874- (Microform in Newspaper Library)



 Robert Bell and Kathleen Coughey, “Premarital Sexual Experience Among College Females, 1958, 1968, 1978,” Family Relations 29 (1980), 353-357.

Angela Davis, Angela Davis - An Autobiography (New York: 1974).

Flora Davis, Moving the Mountain: The Women’s Movement in America Since 1960  (Urbana, IL: 1999)

Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique (New York: 1963).

Leila j. Rupp and Verta Taylor, Survival in the Doldrums: The American Women's Rights Movement, 1945 to the 1960s (New York: 1987).

Ira Robinson and Davor Jedlicka, “Change in Sexual Attitudes and Behavior of College Students from 1965 to 1980: A Research Note,” Journal of Marriage and the Family 44 (1982), 237-40.