Domestic containment focused on the happy American home with bread-winner father, stay-at-home mother and obedient children, Gretchen Ritter describes in the "Journal of Policy History." It was part of the overall "containment" policy for fighting communism after World War II.
The strides toward equality made by women in the early 1900s and reinforced when women took to the work forces during World War II were seen as potentially damaging to America's freedom from communism, wrote Ritter in research published in John Hopkins University's "Journal" and posted on Project Muse. The domestic containment theory was that keeping the women at home minding the children and the men at work providing for the family led to a more stable environment. The theory prompted this movement that dominated the 1950s. Domestic containment also contributed to the way the American government sought to identify itself and edify its reputation. The country took a stance of not letting the world, and to some degree its own citizens, see its "dirty laundry." The treatment of minority groups also fell under this umbrella of protection from world criticism.