AP US Government : Women's Rights

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP US Government

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Women's Rights

The Equal Rights Amendment is not a part of the United States Constitution because it failed which step of the process?

Possible Answers:

Passage by the House of Representatives

Ratification by three-fourths of the state legislatures.

Approval by the President of the United States.

Passage by the Senate

Approval by the United States Supreme Court

Correct answer:

Ratification by three-fourths of the state legislatures.

Explanation:

Article Five of the United States Constitution provides a mechanism by which the Constitution can be amended. The process can be undertaken either by Congress or by a national convention, all of which bypass the President and the Supreme Court. In the case of the Equal Rights Amendment, which would have made discrimination on the basis of sex and gender illegal, the process worked through both houses of Congress by 1972, and was given an "expiration date" of 1979. By 1977, 35 of the necessary 38 states (which would constitute a three-fourths majority) had ratified the amendment. No more states would ratify it, and five would eventually repeal their ratification.

Example Question #2 : Women's Rights

After the American Civil War, what controversial topic split the women's suffrage movement?

Possible Answers:

Pausing the movement to focus on the rights of black men

Halting the movement to support wounded men in the Confederate and Union armies

Ending the movement in the face of increasing discord in civil American society

Pushing for the rights of women to serve in the military

Breaking into two independent movements: Confederate women's rights and Union women's rights

Correct answer:

Pausing the movement to focus on the rights of black men

Explanation:

As the American Civil War came to a close and debates over rights of former slaves came to the forefront of national consciousness, the American Women's Rights movement, historically allied with abolitionist movements, began to debate whether the voting rights of black men should take precedence over that of (generally white) women. Many argued that a radical amendment which guaranteed voting rights for both women and black men would not get enough support. Students should consider what major social changes occurred immediately after the Civil War, and thus what the women's rights movement could feasibly split over. 

Incorrect answers are either: anachronistic (serving in the military), more likely to occur mid-Civil War (breaking into two movements and preventing civil discord), or not controversial enough (supporting the wounded).

Example Question #1 : Women's Rights

Before the Nineteenth Amendment, American suffragettes pushed for a modification of what developing Amendment?

Possible Answers:

Eighteenth

Twelfth

Fifteenth

Fourteenth

Correct answer:

Fifteenth

Explanation:

Before fighting for their own voting rights amendment, female activists pressured government to add “gender” to the fifteenth amendment. The Fifteenth Amendment prohibited denial of voting rights based on one’s skin color, and American suffragettes unsuccessfully attempted to attach their own cause to its passage.

Example Question #2 : Women's Rights

Roe v. Wade established what right based on the right to privacy?

Possible Answers:

Women's right to universal access to contraceptives

Women's right to abortion

The right to take nude photography

The right to homeschooling children

Correct answer:

Women's right to abortion

Explanation:

Roe v. Wade established the right of women to access abortion as a personal choice, though this ruling was nuanced with the declared need to protect human life and women’s health.

Example Question #3 : Women's Rights

Lyndon B. Johnson signed Executive Order 11375 that extended employment discrimination protections to women in which specific sector?

Possible Answers:

Farmworkers

Education

The federal workforce and government contractors

The military

Correct answer:

The federal workforce and government contractors

Explanation:

The federal workforce and government contractors were forced to end gender discrimination in hiring and employment after XO 11375. Government contractors like rubber companies and aircraft companies faced many court battles after the passage of this order.

Example Question #4 : Women's Rights

Besides Roe v. Wade, what other historic victory did women achieve in 1973?

Possible Answers:

Full integration in the military

Protection from discrimination based on pregnancy

The right to free childcare

None of the other answers are correct

Correct answer:

Full integration in the military

Explanation:

In 1973, the male-only armed forces draft ended. Women were integrated into the military, representing all branches of the new volunteer corps. Women still faced discrimination, but became increasingly more accepted as soldiers.

Example Question #7 : Women's Rights

What civil right, other than the right to privacy, was legalized in the case Griswold v. Connecticut?

Possible Answers:

The right to use contraceptives by married couples

The right to take unpaid maternal leave

None of the other answers are correct

The right to use contraceptives

Correct answer:

The right to use contraceptives by married couples

Explanation:

Griswold v. Connecticut struck down a Connecticut Comstock law that prohibited citizens from using drugs or medical instruments for contraception. This right was later extended to unmarried couples in Eisenstadt v. Baird.

Example Question #5 : Women's Rights

What organization was founded after 1920 by the suffragette movement to promote women’s right to vote and today lobbies women to engage in politics more frequently?

Possible Answers:

The National American Woman’s Suffrage Association

The Women’s Trade Union League

The Seneca Falls Activist Group

The League of Women Voters

Correct answer:

The League of Women Voters

Explanation:

The League of Women Voters emerged as a new organization in the women’s rights movement after 1920, and set about directing the new female voting bloc. The organization remains active to this day and continue to mobilize politically minded women in the pursuit of women’s rights.

Example Question #6 : Women's Rights

Which of the following statements about the Women’s Rights Movement is TRUE?

Possible Answers:

The first feminist movement was extremely tight-knit and unanimously united

Presently, female soldiers are not permitted to engage in military combat

Western states showed the most support for women’s suffrage

The Equal Rights Amendment enjoyed great popularity among women across the nation

Correct answer:

Western states showed the most support for women’s suffrage

Explanation:

Before the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, which gave women the right to vote, many Western states had already extended suffrage to their female residents, some decades previously. Wyoming, in particular, was especially forward-thinking, allowing women to vote since 1869, and had even made the preservation of women’s suffrage a condition of statehood. The successful passage of the Nineteenth Amendment was celebrated by women across the nation, but it would not prove powerful enough to unite all feminists. Indeed, the first feminist movement was quite diverse in opinions, with some women adopting a more traditional patriarchal self-conception, while others believed in the complete equality and immersion of women within society. Confounded by this lack of consensus, the women’s rights movement soon dissolved into separate factions, each pursuing different, and even sometimes conflicting, goals. Perhaps the best example of this reality was illustrated by the defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which was intended to prohibit gender discrimination. Surprisingly, the ERA did not enjoy popularity among most women, many of whom regarded its statements as running counter to traditional familial values. This, of course, helped ensure the ERA’s defeat, both in 1923 and in the case of its short-lived revival in 1972. While women have served in the US military since World War II, federal restrictions banned any female soldier from taking part in direct fighting – until just recently. This prohibition was lifted on January 24th, 2013, opening both combat zones and up the highest ranks of the military, including the Navy Seals and Marines, to qualified women.

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