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.

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 September 15, 2014 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 September 15, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 15, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

AFP (Sep. 15, 2014) The European Commission met on Monday to coordinate aid that the EU can offer to African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) A new study finds children are prescribed antibiotics twice as often as is necessary. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) The respiratory virus Enterovirus D68, which targets children, has spread from the Midwest to 21 states. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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