A new Pew Research Center survey finds that the public remains of two minds about the gains mothers have made in the workplace — most recognize the clear economic benefits to families, but many voice concerns about the toll that having a working mother may take on children or even marriage. About three-quarters of adults (74%) say the increasing number of women working for pay has made it harder for parents to raise children, and half say that it has made marriages harder to succeed. At the same time, two-thirds say it has made it easier for families to live comfortably.
While the vast majority of Americans (79%) reject the idea that women should return to their traditional roles, the new Pew Research survey finds that the public still sees mothers and fathers in a different light when it comes to evaluating the best work-family balance for children.
About half (51%) of survey respondents say that children are better off if a mother is home and doesn’t hold a job, while just 8% say the same about a father.
In modern society we are not supposed to say such things about child rearing and families. In modern society we are not supposed to point out that children in a two-parent heterosexual nuclear household have a better chance at long term success in life than others. In modern society, we are supposed to applaud feminists who teach women they can have it all — that there is no gender identifying role and women can fulfill the role of husbands and fathers just as men do.
This does not mean the two-parent, heterosexual nuclear household will always work out for the best. But it does mean children in that environment will more often than not be more successful than children of single parents or gay parents.
Feminists and politicians on both sides of the aisle view these statements as insulting to single moms and antithetical to their support for gay marriage. What should be insulting to single moms is for society to tell them they can do it all and, in fact, will subsidize their doing it all. I know a number of wonderful, nurturing single mothers. They do as best they can. Most of them have wonderful children. But not one of them prefers to be a single mother…
None of us can have it all. Women as primary breadwinners does make raising children harder, increasing the likelihood of harm in the development of children. While it is a reality in this world and sometimes even necessary, that does not mean we should not ignore the consequences of the increase in moms, instead of dads, as primary breadwinners (often because the man walked out).
When Columbia University researchers studied 1,000 kids from babies to first grade, they not only found “the overall effect of 1st-year maternal employment on child development is neutral,” they discovered that working moms tended to be more responsive to their kids than stay-at-home moms. In December 2012, researchers from the University of North Carolina at Greenboro found that working moms were just as healthy, and sometimes healthier, than stay-at-home moms.
Most convincingly, according to research published in the peer-reviewed Psychological Bulletin, an analysis of 69 studies conducted from 1969 to 2010 found that when moms worked outside the home before their children were 3 years old, their kids fared no worse academically or behaviorally than stay-at-home moms’ kids. In fact, in some ways, they did better: children of working moms were rated as more high-achieving by teachers, and were less likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. Which means when it comes to who’s “the most well adjusted youth in society,” at least by two measures, Erickson has it exactly wrong.
Have these men lost their minds? (and these are my colleagues??!! oh brother… maybe I need to have a little chat with them) (next thing they will have a segment to discuss eliminating women’s right to vote?)