A Social Psychological Perspective
Chapter 12. Parenthood and Work-related Impressions
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In addition to having effects on women’s overall burden and the conflicting tasks they try to juggle (see Chapter 7 on social roles), parenthood also affects how working women are perceived by others. Mothers appear to embody the essence of womanhood (e.g., Okimoto & Heilman, 2012). What does this imply for the careers of women (and men) who have children? Several experiments have tested this, generally using the Goldberg paradigm: Written information about women and men who had children or not was provided to different participants, who rated them on competence, job commitment, and the like. These experiments show that parenthood is costly in several respects to both women and men. For example, both mothers and fathers were perceived as less committed to their jobs, less available, and less assertive/competent than childless applicants or the “ideal worker” (Fuegen et al., 2004). Also, the information that someone had taken a parental leave of absence resulted in lower recommendations for overseas assignments for both mothers and fathers (Allen, Russell, & Rush, 1994). A sample of female employees working full time perceived parents working full time as more career and less family oriented than were perceived those with reduced working hours (Etaugh & Moss, 2001). Similarly, working parents appeared less warm than stay-at-home parents (Bridges, Etaugh, & Barnes-Farrell, 2002; see also Park, Smith, & Correll, 2008).
← 137 | 138 → In spite of these findings indicating costs of parenthood for both women and men, much additional evidence suggests...
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