Stereotypes, Beliefs about Working Mothers, and the Use of Gender System Justification

Elizabeth Anne Eder-Moreau, Fordham University


This study examines whether working mothers represent a system threat to the general public and beliefs about working mothers. 177 participants were randomly assigned to conditions designed to confirm or contradict stereotypes about mothers and their gender system justifying responses were measured. To evaluate beliefs about working mothers, participants read positive and negative statements about working mothers and rated their agreement with each. Results were compared between working mothers in the sample and others. Results suggested that working mothers were not a stereotype threat as they were presented in our study. In the overall sample, women, parents, and conservatives had higher Gender System Justification scores. Working mothers’ Gender System Justification scores were significantly higher than those of the general population, and working mothers were more likely to blame and support other working mothers than the general population. The overall population was more supportive of working mothers than blaming.

Subject Area

Social psychology

Recommended Citation

Eder-Moreau, Elizabeth Anne, "Stereotypes, Beliefs about Working Mothers, and the Use of Gender System Justification" (2023). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI28868763.