Bias in employment decisions about mothers and fathers: The (dis)advantages of sharing care responsibilities

C.J. Vinkenburg, M.L. Van Engen, J. Coffeng, J.S.E. Dikkers

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Bias against mothers in employment decisions has often been explained by the assumption that mothers are less committed and competent than fathers and nonparents. In a simulated employment context, we studied whether this "motherhood bias" can be attenuated by different ways of dividing care responsibilities between partners. We contrasted a main provider model to a shared model in which both partners equally share work and care responsibilities. In the Netherlands, where part-time work is encouraged and available, sharing work and care is increasingly considered "normal." As predicted, we found less favorable perceptions of full-time working mothers who are main providers than of mothers who share responsibilities with their partner. In contrast, we found least favorable perceptions of fathers who share responsibilities. Our findings show how normative beliefs about parenting dictate that we applaud mothers-and punish fathers-who combine career and care by working reduced hours. © 2012 The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.
LanguageEnglish
Pages725-741
JournalJournal of Social Issues
Volume68
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Fingerprint

father
responsibility
trend
part-time work
working hours
motherhood
Netherlands
career

Cite this

@article{a7add41bc61243e8b45f8c1e2be10c7d,
title = "Bias in employment decisions about mothers and fathers: The (dis)advantages of sharing care responsibilities",
abstract = "Bias against mothers in employment decisions has often been explained by the assumption that mothers are less committed and competent than fathers and nonparents. In a simulated employment context, we studied whether this {"}motherhood bias{"} can be attenuated by different ways of dividing care responsibilities between partners. We contrasted a main provider model to a shared model in which both partners equally share work and care responsibilities. In the Netherlands, where part-time work is encouraged and available, sharing work and care is increasingly considered {"}normal.{"} As predicted, we found less favorable perceptions of full-time working mothers who are main providers than of mothers who share responsibilities with their partner. In contrast, we found least favorable perceptions of fathers who share responsibilities. Our findings show how normative beliefs about parenting dictate that we applaud mothers-and punish fathers-who combine career and care by working reduced hours. {\circledC} 2012 The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.",
author = "C.J. Vinkenburg and {Van Engen}, M.L. and J. Coffeng and J.S.E. Dikkers",
year = "2012",
doi = "10.1111/j.1540-4560.2012.01773.x",
language = "English",
volume = "68",
pages = "725--741",
journal = "Journal of Social Issues",
issn = "0022-4537",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "4",

}

Bias in employment decisions about mothers and fathers: The (dis)advantages of sharing care responsibilities. / Vinkenburg, C.J.; Van Engen, M.L.; Coffeng, J.; Dikkers, J.S.E.

In: Journal of Social Issues, Vol. 68, No. 4, 2012, p. 725-741.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Bias in employment decisions about mothers and fathers: The (dis)advantages of sharing care responsibilities

AU - Vinkenburg, C.J.

AU - Van Engen, M.L.

AU - Coffeng, J.

AU - Dikkers, J.S.E.

PY - 2012

Y1 - 2012

N2 - Bias against mothers in employment decisions has often been explained by the assumption that mothers are less committed and competent than fathers and nonparents. In a simulated employment context, we studied whether this "motherhood bias" can be attenuated by different ways of dividing care responsibilities between partners. We contrasted a main provider model to a shared model in which both partners equally share work and care responsibilities. In the Netherlands, where part-time work is encouraged and available, sharing work and care is increasingly considered "normal." As predicted, we found less favorable perceptions of full-time working mothers who are main providers than of mothers who share responsibilities with their partner. In contrast, we found least favorable perceptions of fathers who share responsibilities. Our findings show how normative beliefs about parenting dictate that we applaud mothers-and punish fathers-who combine career and care by working reduced hours. © 2012 The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.

AB - Bias against mothers in employment decisions has often been explained by the assumption that mothers are less committed and competent than fathers and nonparents. In a simulated employment context, we studied whether this "motherhood bias" can be attenuated by different ways of dividing care responsibilities between partners. We contrasted a main provider model to a shared model in which both partners equally share work and care responsibilities. In the Netherlands, where part-time work is encouraged and available, sharing work and care is increasingly considered "normal." As predicted, we found less favorable perceptions of full-time working mothers who are main providers than of mothers who share responsibilities with their partner. In contrast, we found least favorable perceptions of fathers who share responsibilities. Our findings show how normative beliefs about parenting dictate that we applaud mothers-and punish fathers-who combine career and care by working reduced hours. © 2012 The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.

U2 - 10.1111/j.1540-4560.2012.01773.x

DO - 10.1111/j.1540-4560.2012.01773.x

M3 - Article

VL - 68

SP - 725

EP - 741

JO - Journal of Social Issues

T2 - Journal of Social Issues

JF - Journal of Social Issues

SN - 0022-4537

IS - 4

ER -