Are you more likely to ask your daughter to wash the dishes, and ask your son to mow the lawn? If so, you could be inadvertently sending the wrong message about gender roles.
A Spanish study pins the blame on mothers if their children grow up to be adults who have sexist attitudes, Science Daily reported. Noting that a family’s socio-economic level also play a part in one’s beliefs about gender, Science Daily said, “It appears that the mother is a figure who has greatest influence in the transference of discriminatory behavior.”
One of the study’s authors, both of whom are from the University of the Basque Country, said, “[T]he degree of sexism in the mother is more linked to that of her sons or daughters in comparison to the influence of the father.”
How and why does this happen? Researchers pointed to the amount of time mothers spend with their children as well as the types of chores mothers have them do and the types of presents that are given to the children which influences their offspring.
The study’s results didn’t surprise Jessica Wakeman, who on The Frisky wrote, “I had a feeling, long before I read Peggy Orenstein’s book, Cinderella Ate My Daughter . . . that it was mothers who were buying their three-year-olds all this pretty, pretty princess crap. It makes sense: Although fathers increasingly spend more time with their children with each new decade, it is still mothers who do the lion’s share of parenting, even when both parents work outside the home.”
What do you think? Could women be unintentionally passing on sexist attitudes?