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*Note* This scheduling program was not designed by folks who do a lot with APA Style and unfortunately it defaults to listing authors in alphabetical order. We cannot fix this for this online schedule, but the author orders are posted in the order submitted in the printed program available via pdf here.

Saturday, March 7 • 2:25pm - 3:25pm
The Motherhood Penalty: Still Applied by Some University Students

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Women are more likely than men to suffer disadvantages on perceived job-related skills or traits (Fuegen, Biernat, Haines, & Deaux, 2004; Cuddy, et al., 2004), and these effects may be exacerbated when a woman is perceived as a mother (Correll, Benard & Paik, 2007). When women are perceived as mothers and are rated less favorably on work-relevant characteristics, this effect is called the motherhood penalty. Some researchers have suggested that the motherhood penalty is due to the stereotypes that individuals have about women and mothers (Cuddy, Fiske, Glick, 2004). Though the motherhood penalty has been replicated throughout the extant literature, we considered the possibility that the same results may not hold approximately 10 years later, as society’s perceptions about women are changing (Braun & Scott, 2009). To test our research question, we employed a standard resume paradigm in which applicant gender and parental status were manipulated. Undergraduate students from a Midwestern university (N = 111; 74% women, 26% men) were asked to answer questions about their perceptions of work-related traits for a childless woman and for a mother. A series of paired-samples t-tests revealed that, compared to applicants who were perceived as mothers, applicants who were perceived as childless women fared better on several work-related traits (e.g., motivated, experienced, committed). Our results demonstrate that, at least in some samples, mothers continue to be penalized on work-related traits. Moreover, we present evidence suggesting that the motherhood penalty’s effects may vary by sample, as some university students actually rate mothers more favorably on work-related traits. Our findings suggest certain background characteristics, including geographical location, may influence perceptions of women. In the future, investigators of the motherhood penalty should examine which attitudinal and demographic variables are predictive of evaluations of childless women and mothers.


Saturday March 7, 2015 2:25pm - 3:25pm
Redwood