People favor not only a mother,but also her child and their relationship when she is not employed outside the home full time,a Kansas State University study has found.
The research evaluated the perceptions people have of women and their children based on the woman’s work status. The findings showed that people value,and do not differentiate between,mothers who stay in the home full time and mothers who find a compromise between working and at-home motherhood after they have a child. People also devalue mothers employed full time outside the home,relative to their non-employed counterparts,and perceive their children to be troubled and their relationships to be problematic.
“The most interesting,and potentially dangerous,finding is the view that if a child has a working mother,people don’t like that child as much,” said Jennifer Livengood,a K-State graduate student in psychology from Sweet Springs,Mo. “People really devalue a mom who works full time outside the home in comparison to a mom who doesn’t. People like mothers who fulfill traditional stereotypes,like staying at home. That’s just not a reality and not a preference for women as much as it used to be.”
The research was presented by Tammy Sonnentag,doctoral student in psychology from Edgar,Wis.,at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology conference in January.