American adults and adolescents are now significantly more accepting of mothers who work fulltime, but a growing minority from younger generations believe that wives should mind the household and husbands should make decisions for the family, according to new research in the Psychology of Women Quarterly (a SAGE journal).
"Students are more accepting of mothers working, but a growing minority believes that men should be the rulers of the household or more believe that women should work, but still have less power at home," wrote researchers Donnelly et al. "This trend is particularly surprising given the legitimization of same-sex marriage over this time period, which challenges traditional gender-based views of marriage."
Looking at two nationally representative surveys of approximately 600,000 12th grade students and adults from 1976 to 2013, the researchers reported the following findings:
With the overall increasing acceptance of working women, the researchers suggest that these findings signal a need for public support for mothers who work.
"The majority of U.S. adults and high school students now accept the idea that women will work even when the have young children," commented Donnelly et all. "This suggests a continued, urgent need for programs to help working families."
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