May, Homeward Bound Discussion Questions  


Evaluate May’s evidence (take a look at footnotes).  What kind of evidence does she utilize?  How reliable is this?  Are there any concerns or questions one might have regarding her evidence?

Ch. 1

How did status of women in the US and USSR play a role in Cold War competition between the two nations?

How did the home play a role in confronting the Cold War?

How did family life change for many families after WWII?


Ch. 2
What impact did the depression have on family and marriage and how did popular culture portray women?

What worked against the opportunity for increasing equality and emancipation of women during the depression era?

Overall, how did the depression thus affect men and women during the 1950s?

Ch. 3
How did WWII affect women’s status and general attitudes about women?

What were the postwar prospects for women in terms of education, employment, and new independent status?

How did postwar society affect men and how did the home provide them a way to respond?


Ch. 4
According to May, what were the connections between sexuality and the Cold War?

How did society attempt to control youth sexuality?

How could women help bring victory in the Cold War?

Why was sexual fulfillment significant according to May?


Ch. 5
How did the norms or societal expectations of sex conform to the reality?

What does she mean by sexual containment?    

What was the impact on those who tried to live up to these sexual social norms?

Ch. 6
What’s May’s argument regarding the larger significance or meaning of procreation and children?

What did children do for fathers?  Why were fathers seen as important to raising children?

How did TV shows provide evidence of changing nature of fatherhood?

 How does May explain the apparent contradiction that birth control did not decrease despite culture emphasizing family and children?

Ch. 7
What was the attraction of the suburban home and what was its impact on the lives of women?

What was the meaning of consumerism for family and couples?

Ch. 8
How does May explain the low divorce rate despite apparent dissatisfaction with the high expectations of marriage?