Gender Double Standards in Parenting Attitudes

Publication Abstract

Axinn, William G., Linda Young-DeMarco, and Messo Caponi Roe. 2011. "Gender Double Standards in Parenting Attitudes." Social Science Research 40(2):417-432.

This paper investigates the double standard in attitudes toward courtship and family formation behaviors of sons and daughters. We argue there are strong theoretical reasons to expect that the magnitude of this double standard varies across substantive domains, as well as amongst parents and non-parents. We also argue key methodological limitations of previous studies likely produce an under-estimate of the gender double standard. We provide empirical estimates of the gender double standard that overcome these limitations, including a random assignment experiment explicitly designed to control the effects of social desirability. These estimates demonstrate variability in the double standard across domains and reveal key factors contributing to the magnitude of the double standards in parenting attitudes held by individuals.

DOI: 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2010.08.010

PMCID: PMC3035381