Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mothers who breastfeed often viewed as less competent than other women, study finds

Date:
April 15, 2011
Source:
SAGE Publications
Summary:
While breastfeeding babies has numerous health advantages to both mother and child, mothers who breastfeed may find that other people look down on them and do not want to work with them. A recent study found that mothers who breastfeed are viewed as less competent than other women.

While breastfeeding babies has numerous health advantages to both mother and child, mothers who breastfeed may find that other people look down on them and do not want to work with them. A recent study released by Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin (published by SAGE) found that mothers who breastfeed are viewed as less competent than other women.

Related Articles


Researchers conducted three varying double blind studies to determine the views of others towards breastfeeding moms. One study, for example, asked participants to measure the competence, math competence and likelihood that they would hire a breastfeeding mom as opposed to other groups, such as women, and moms in general. In all three studies, the results showed the breastfeeding woman was rated significantly less competent in general, in math and work specifically, and was less likely to be hired compared to others.

"What's surprising is that the results from the study showed that the breastfeeding mother was excluded from a potential job opportunity," wrote article lead author Jessi L. Smith of Montana State University, "even though none of the women were visibly breastfeeding. We can only speculate that the evidence for bias would be even greater if people were to rate an actual woman engaging in public nursing."

Another point of discussion in the findings was the bias against breastfeeding mothers was equal among men and women.

"Breastfeeding is healthy and cheap, but relatively few women do it," wrote the researchers. "A woman may not breastfeed because of worry over how she will be evaluated by other people. Data from the current project suggest that this worry may be warranted, to the extent that breastfeeding is a devalued social category."

By calling attention to the prejudice that breastfeeding mothers might face, the researchers hope to alert health workers to the need to help mothers overcome the possible negative experiences they encounter, which ultimately might increase breastfeeding rates. "The result of more mothers who breastfeed is the force for social change; more visible breastfeeding mothers should prompt people to wrestle with and debate the issues. With time, greater numbers of women who breastfeed translates to less prejudice."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by SAGE Publications. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. L. Smith, K. Hawkinson, K. Paull. Spoiled Milk: An Experimental Examination of Bias Against Mothers Who Breastfeed. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 2011; DOI: 10.1177/0146167211401629

Cite This Page:

SAGE Publications. "Mothers who breastfeed often viewed as less competent than other women, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110415104546.htm>.
SAGE Publications. (2011, April 15). Mothers who breastfeed often viewed as less competent than other women, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110415104546.htm
SAGE Publications. "Mothers who breastfeed often viewed as less competent than other women, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110415104546.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) — The White House on Friday announced a five-year plan to fight the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria amid fears that once-treatable germs could become deadly. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) — In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins