Event Title

Parenting Styles: Does Society Judge Men More Harshly than Women for the Same Parenting Mistakes?

Location

CSU 201

Start Date

5-4-2010 10:00 AM

End Date

5-4-2010 12:00 PM

Student's Major

Psychology

Student's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Mentor's Name

Kristie Campana

Mentor's Department

Psychology

Mentor's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Description

Our research study sought to determine if there are significant differences in the way society views and subsequently judges mothers versus fathers for making the same parenting mistakes. Previous research indicates that gender stereotypes held by participants may prompt them to see women as the primary caretaker of children, and thus better suited to care for a child and make good decisions (Moon & Hoffman, 2008; Bernett et al., 2008). Unfortunately, this may also lead to men being judged more harshly for making mistakes with children. Hence, our hypothesis was that men are judged more harshly than women are for making the same mistakes. In addition, we hypothesized that women will judge the mistakes more harshly overall. To test our hypotheses, 120 participants read several vignettes in which a parent committed a parenting mistake. We created two different versions of the survey in which we alternated the names (Joe/Jessica) and identifying pronouns (he/she) in the vignettes from male parents to female parents. Each survey contained a mix of male and female parents. After reading each vignette, participants were asked to rate the parent’s behavior on a scale of one to five, one being acceptable and five being unacceptable.

Research results are pending. The findings of this study may suggest ways in which stereotypes about men and women affect reactions to their behavior; significant results may have important implications regarding how gender may affect court cases involving children.

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Apr 5th, 10:00 AM Apr 5th, 12:00 PM

Parenting Styles: Does Society Judge Men More Harshly than Women for the Same Parenting Mistakes?

CSU 201

Our research study sought to determine if there are significant differences in the way society views and subsequently judges mothers versus fathers for making the same parenting mistakes. Previous research indicates that gender stereotypes held by participants may prompt them to see women as the primary caretaker of children, and thus better suited to care for a child and make good decisions (Moon & Hoffman, 2008; Bernett et al., 2008). Unfortunately, this may also lead to men being judged more harshly for making mistakes with children. Hence, our hypothesis was that men are judged more harshly than women are for making the same mistakes. In addition, we hypothesized that women will judge the mistakes more harshly overall. To test our hypotheses, 120 participants read several vignettes in which a parent committed a parenting mistake. We created two different versions of the survey in which we alternated the names (Joe/Jessica) and identifying pronouns (he/she) in the vignettes from male parents to female parents. Each survey contained a mix of male and female parents. After reading each vignette, participants were asked to rate the parent’s behavior on a scale of one to five, one being acceptable and five being unacceptable.

Research results are pending. The findings of this study may suggest ways in which stereotypes about men and women affect reactions to their behavior; significant results may have important implications regarding how gender may affect court cases involving children.

Recommended Citation

Woodgate, Kimberly. "Parenting Styles: Does Society Judge Men More Harshly than Women for the Same Parenting Mistakes?." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 5, 2010.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2010/oral-session-02/4