ORIGINAL PAPER
"Daughter and son: a completely different story”? Gender as a moderator of the relationship between sexism and parental attitudes
 
More details
Hide details
1
Institute of Psychology, University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland
2
Department of Health Psychology, Gdansk University of Physical Education and Sport, Gdansk, Poland
Submission date: 2016-08-11
Acceptance date: 2016-08-19
Online publication date: 2016-09-12
Publication date: 2016-09-12
 
Health Psychology Report 2016;4(3):224–236
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Background
During childhood, parents are the first and most important individuals who form the base of the content of gender stereotypes in children. A parent’s expectations about the extent a child’s behaviour should be line with gender stereotypes also depends on the intensity of a parent’s sexism. A parent’s sexism may be exhibited in parental attitudes. Hence, in our study we analysed the relationship between parental ambivalent sexism and parental attitudes within dyads of mothers and fathers with a special focus on the role of the gender of both parents and children.

Participants and procedure
Two hundred and ninety-four couples of parents of five-year-olds (153 girls, 141 boys) participated. The Ambivalent Sexism Inventory (ASI) was used to measure levels of sexism, and the Parental Attitudes Scale (SPR) was used to assess parental attitudes.

Results
In terms of the profile of parental attitudes, regardless of the child’s sex, mothers and fathers scored highest for inconsequent and demanding attitudes, and lowest for overprotective and autonomy attitudes. The child’s sex is also not important for the overall levels of parents’ sexism – fathers exhibit higher levels of hostile sexism in comparison to mothers. Only the mothers’ education level is important for levels of sexism – women with higher education exhibited the lowest levels of hostile sexism. The child’s sex moderates relationships between parents’ sexism and parental attitudes. In the case of mothers of sons, the intensity of benevolent sexism is negatively related to overprotective and demanding attitudes. The more educated the mothers of sons, the more demanding they were. For fathers of sons, the inconsequence attitude increases under the influence of both hostile and benevolent sexism. Among fathers of daughters, hostile sexism strengthens the overprotective attitude, while levels of both benevolent and hostile sexism as well as education influence the autonomy attitude.

Conclusions
The gender of both the parents and the child moderates the relationship between sexism and parental attitudes. The role of sexism in shaping the attitude of mothers towards sons is the most prominent – it seems that it guards the ‘manliness’ of young boys.
 
REFERENCES (88)
1.
Altman, N. (2008). From fathering daughters to doddering father. Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 28, 92–105. doi: 10.1080/07351690701787135.
 
2.
Antill, J. K., Cunningham, J. D., & Cotton, S. (2003). Gender-role attitudes in middle childhood: in what ways do parents influence their children? Australian Journal of Psychology, 55, 148–153.
 
3.
Aunola, K., & Nurmi, J. E. (2005). The role of parenting styles in children’s problem behavior. Child Development, 76, 1144–1159.
 
4.
Aznar, A., & Tenenbaum, H. R. (2015). Gender and age differences in parent – child emotion talk. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 33, 148–155.
 
5.
Bakiera, L. (2006). Rodzina z perspektywy socjologicznej i psychologicznej: ciągłość i zmiana [Sociological and psychological point of view to the family: continuity and change]. Roczniki So­cjologii Rodziny, 17, 101–115.
 
6.
Becker, K. D., Ginsburg, G. S., Domingues, J., & Tein, J. Y. (2010). Maternal control behavior and locus of control: examining mechanisms in the relation between maternal anxiety disorders and anxiety symptomatology in children. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 38, 533–543.
 
7.
Biernat, M. (1991). Gender stereotypes and the relationship between masculinity and femininity: A developmental analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 61, 351–365.
 
8.
Bochniarz, A. (2010). Postawy rodzicielskie a funkcjonowanie społeczne jedynaków [Parental attitudes and the social functioning of only children]. Lublin: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Marii Curie-Skłodowskiej.
 
9.
Borchet, J., Lewandowska-Walter, A., & Rostowska, T. (2016). Parentification in late adolescence and selected features of the family system. Health Psychology Report, 4, 116–127. doi: 10.5114/hpr.2016.55921.
 
10.
Borecka-Biernat, D. (2003). Postawa wychowawcza w rodzinie jako wyznacznik unikowej strategii radzenia sobie młodzieży w trudnej sytuacji kontaktu społecznego [Upbringing attitude in families as a determinant of avoidance coping strategies of youth in difficult social interactions]. In I. Janicka & T. Rostowska (eds.), Psychologia w służbie rodziny [Psychology as a service to the family] (pp. 166–184). Łódź: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Łódzkiego.
 
11.
Bosak, J., Sczesny, S., & Eagly, A. H. (2012). The impact of social roles on trait judgments: A critical re-examination. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38, 429–440.
 
12.
Boski, P. (1999). Męskość – kobiecość jako wymiar kultury. Przegląd koncepcji i badań [Masculinity-femininity as a dimension of culture. Review of concepts and research]. In J. Miluska & P. Boski (eds.), Męskość – kobiecość w perspektywie indywidualnej i kulturowej [Masculinity-femininity in individual and cultural perspectives] (pp. 66–97). Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Instytutu Psychologii PAN.
 
13.
Brown, S., Fite, P. J, & Poquiz, J. (2016). Moderating effects of gender on outcomes associated with stressful life events among elementary school-age youth. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 47, 593–602.
 
14.
Cabrera, N. J., Fagan, J., Wight, V., & Schadler, C. (2011). Influence of mother, father, and child risk on parenting and children’s cognitive and social behaviors. Child Development, 82, 1985–2005. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01667.x.
 
15.
Cancian, M., & Reed, D. (2009). Family structure, childbearing, and parental employment: Implications for the level and trend in poverty. Focus, 26, 21–26.
 
16.
Chinchilla, M. A., & Kosson, D. S. (2016). Psychopathic traits moderate relationships between parental warmth and adolescent antisocial and other high-risk behaviors. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 43, 722–738. doi: 10.1177/0093854815617216.
 
17.
Chrzan-Dętkoś, M., Kosakowska-Berezecka, N., & Pa­wlicka, P. (2011). Women, men and second shift – psychological determinants of work-life balance. Polish Journal of Social Sciences, 6, 123–140.
 
18.
Croft, A., Schmader, T., & Block, K. (2015). An underexamined inequality: Cultural and psychological barriers to men’s engagement with communal roles. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 19, 343–370. doi: 10.1177/1088868314564789.
 
19.
Cunningham, M. (2001). The influence of parental attitudes and behaviors on children’s attitudes toward gender and household labor in early adulthood. Journal of Marriage and Family, 63, 111–122.
 
20.
De Groof, S. (2008). And my mama said...: The (relative) parental influence on fear of crime among adolescent girls and boys. Youth & Society, 39, 267–293.
 
21.
De la Torre-Cruz, M. J., García-Linares, M. C., & Ca­sanova-Arias, P. F. (2014). Relationship between parenting styles and aggressiveness in adolescences. Electronic Journal of Research in Educational Psychology, 12, 147–170.
 
22.
de Minzi, M. C. R. (2010). Gender and cultural patterns of mothers’ and fathers’ attachment and links with children’s self-competence, depression and loneliness in middle and late childhood. Early Child Development and Care, 180, 193–209.
 
23.
Deaux, K., & Lewis, L. L. (1983). Components of gender stereotypes. Psychological Documents, 13, 25–83.
 
24.
Deaux, K., & Lewis, L. L. (1984). Structure of gender stereotypes: Interrelationship among components and gender label. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 46, 991–1004.
 
25.
Diekman, A. B., Goodfriend, W., & Goodwin, S. (2004). Dynamic stereotypes of power: perceived change and stability in gender hierarchies. Sex Roles, 50, 201–215. doi: 10.1023/B:SERS.0000015552.22775.44.
 
26.
Eagly, A. H., & Wood, W. (2012). Social role theory. In P. van Lange, A. Kruglanski, & E. T. Higgins (eds.), Handbook of Theories in Social Psychology (pp. 458–547). London, UK: Sage.
 
27.
Eagly, A. H., & Mladinic, A. (1989). Gender stereotypes and attitudes toward women and men. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 15, 543–558.
 
28.
Eaton, N. R., Keyes, K. M., Krueger, R. F., Balsis, S., Skodol, A. E., Markon, K. E., Grant, B. F., & Hasin, D. S. (2012). An invariant dimensional liability model of gender differences in mental disorder prevalence: Evidence from a national sample. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 121, 282–288. doi: 10.1037/a0024780.
 
29.
Endendijk, J. J., Groeneveld, M. G., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J., & Mesman, J. (2016). Gender-differentiated parenting revisited: meta-analysis reveals very few differences in parental control of boys and girls. PLoS One, 11, e0159193. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0159193.
 
30.
Endendijk, J. J., Groeneveld, M. G., van Berkel, S. R., Hallers-Haalboom, E. T., Mesman, J., & Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J. (2013). Gender stereotypes in the family context: mothers, fathers, and siblings. Sex Roles, 68, 577–590. doi: 10.1007/s11199-013-0265-4.
 
31.
Erozkan, A. (2012). Examination of relationship between anxiety sensitivity and parenting styles in adolescents. Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice, 12, 52–57.
 
32.
Garaigordobil, M., & Aliri, J. (2012). Parental socialization styles, parents’ educational level, and sexist attitudes in adolescence. Spanish Journal of Psychology, 15, 592–603. doi: 10.5209/rev_SJOP.2012.v15.n2.38870.
 
33.
Glick, P., & Rudman, L. (2010). Sexism. In J. F. Dovidio, M. Hewstone, P. Glick, & V. M. Esses (eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Prejudice, Stereotyping and Discrimination (pp. 328–344). London: SAGE Publications Inc.
 
34.
Glick, P., & Fiske, S. T. (1996). The Ambivalent Sexism Inventory: Differentiating Hostile and Benevolent Sexism. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 491–512.
 
35.
Glick, P., Lameiras, M., & Castro, Y. M. (2002). Education and the catholic religiosity as predictors of hostile and benevolent sexism toward women and men. Sex Roles, 47, 433–441. doi: 10.1023/A:1021696209949.
 
36.
Glick, P., Wilkerson, M., & Cuffe, M. (2015). Masculine identity, ambivalent sexism, and attitudes toward gender subtypes: Favoring masculine men and feminine women. Social Psychology, 46, 210–217. doi: 10.1027/1864-9335/a000228.
 
37.
Hess, M., Ittel, A., & Sisler, A. (2014). Gender-specific macro- and micro-level processes in the transmission of gender role orientation in adolescence: The role of fathers. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 11, 211–226.
 
38.
Jankowska, A. M., Włodarczyk, A., Campbell, C., & Shaw, S. (2015). Parental attitudes and personality traits, self-efficacy, stress, and coping strategies among mothers of children with cerebral palsy. Health Psychology Report, 3, 246–259. doi: 10.5114/hpr.2015.51903.
 
39.
Karasiewicz, K., & Kosakowska N. (2008). Kij ma dwa końce, mężczyźni też są dyskryminowani ze względu na płeć [The sword is double-edged, men are also disciminated against]. In A. Chybicka & B. Pastwa-Wojciechowska (eds.), Kobiecość w obliczu zmian. Studia interdyscyplinarne [Femininity in the face of changes. Interdisciplinary studies] (pp. 149–168). Cracow, Poland: Impuls.
 
40.
Katz, J., & van der Kloet, E. (2010). The first man in her life: father emotional responsiveness during adolescence and college women’s sexual refusal behaviors. American Journal of Family Therapy, 38, 344–356. doi: 10.1080/01926187.2010.493474.
 
41.
Kaźmierczak, M. (2015). Oblicza empatii w procesie adaptacji do rodzicielstwa [Faces of empathy in the process of adaptation to parenthood]. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Scholar.
 
42.
Kelly, A. C., & Dupasquier, J. (2016). Social safeness mediates the relationship between recalled parental warmth and the capacity for self-compassion and receiving compassion. Personality & Individual Differences, 89, 157–161. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2015.10.017.
 
43.
Kosakowska, N. (2004). Stereotypy kobiecych i męskich ról społecznych w ocenie dzieci, nastolatków i dorosłych [Social role stereotypes of females and males in the eyes of children, adolescents and adults]. Psychologia Rozwojowa, 9, 65–80.
 
44.
Kosakowska-Berezecka, N., Korzeniewska, L., & Ka­czorowska, M. (2016). Sharing housework can be healthy – cultural and psychological factors influencing men’s involvement in household maintenance. Health Psychology Report, 4, 189–201. doi: 10.5114/hpr.2016.62232.
 
45.
Kosakowska-Berezecka, N. (2012). Kiedy kobiety i mężczyźni tracą w oczach innych? – czyli o karach społecznych za niestereotypowe zachowa­nie słów kilka [When women and men lose in the eyes of others – On social punishments for counterstereotypical behavior]. In N. Kosakowska- Berezecka, A. Chybicka, & P. Pawlicka (eds.), Podróże między kobiecością a męskością [Journeys between womanhood and manhood] (pp. 125–146). Kraków: Oficyna Wydawnicza Impuls.
 
46.
Laukkanen, J., Ojansuu, U., Tolvanen, A., Alatupa, S., & Aunola, K. (2014). Child’s difficult temperament and mothers’ parenting styles. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 23, 312–323. doi: 10.1007/s10826-013-9747-9.
 
47.
Liberska, H., & Matuszewska, M. (2006). Pełnienie ról małżeńskich a proces rozwoju dorosłych [Role of marriage and the process of the development of adults]. Psychologia Rozwojowa, 11, 25–35.
 
48.
Liberska, H., & Matuszewska, M. (2014). Mode­le funkcjonowania rodziny. Style wychowania [Models of family functioning. Parenting styles]. In I. Janicka & H. Liberska (eds.), Psychologia rodziny [Psychology of family] (pp. 115–140). Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN.
 
49.
Majorczyk, M. (2010). Współczesna rodzina jako środowisko wychowawcze (socjalizacyjno-enkulturacyjne) [Contemporary family as the environment of the socialization and of the culture]. Scripta Comeniana Lesnensia, 8, 23–40.
 
50.
Mandal, E. (2004). Podmiotowe i interpersonalne konsekwencje stereotypów związanych z płcią [Subjective and interpersonal consequences of gender stereotypes]. Katowice: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego.
 
51.
Marchwicki, P. (2004). Style przywiązania a postawy rodzicielskie. Doniesienie z badań [Attachment styles and parental attitudes. A research report]. Roczniki Psychologiczne, 7, 81–103.
 
52.
Maschi, T., Morgen, K., Bradley, C., & Hatcher, S. (2008). Exploring gender differences on internalizing and externalizing behavior among maltreated youth: implications for social work action. Child & Adolescent Social Work Journal, 25, 531–547.
 
53.
Mikołajczak, M., & Pietrzak, J. (2014). Ambivalent sexism – A broader conceptualization. Paper presented at the 37th Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Society for Political Psychology, Rome, Italy.
 
54.
Mikołajczak, M., & Pietrzak, J. (2015). A broader conceptualization of sexism: the case of Poland. In S. Safdar & N. Kosakowska-Berezecka (eds.), Psychology of Gender Through the Lens of Culture: Theories and Applications (pp. 169–192). New York: Springer.
 
55.
Möller, E. L., Nikolić, M., Majdandžić, M., & Bögels, S. M. (2016). Associations between maternal and paternal parenting behaviors, anxiety and its precursors in early childhood: A meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 45, 17–33. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2016.03.002.
 
56.
Montañés, P., de Lemus, S., Bohner, G., Megías, J. L., Moya, M., & Garcia-Retamero, R. (2012). Intergenerational transmission of benevolent sexism from mothers to daughters and its relation to daughters’ academic performance and goals. Sex Roles, 66, 468–478. doi: 10.1007/s11199-011-0116-0.
 
57.
Moss-Racusin, C. A., & Rudman, L. A. (2010). Disruptions in women’s self-promotion: The backlash avoidance model. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 34, 186–202. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6402.2010.01561.x.
 
58.
Mulvey, K. L., & Killen, M. (2015). Challenging gender stereotypes: resistance and exclusion. Child Development, 86, 681–694.
 
59.
Paulus, F., Backes, A., Sander, C., Weber, M., & Gontard, A. (2015). Anxiety disorders and behavioral inhibition in preschool children: a population-based study. Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 46, 150–157.
 
60.
Pietrzak, J., & Mikołajczak, M. (2015). Seksizm w Polsce [Sexism in Poland]. In A. Stefaniak, M. Bilewicz, & M. Winiewski (eds.), Uprzedzenia w Polsce [Prejudices in Poland] (pp. 207–237). Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Stowarzyszenie Filomatów.
 
61.
Płeczkan, K. (2012). Społeczne role w strukturze współczesnej rodziny [Social roles in modern family structure]. Pedagogika Rodziny, 2, 136–149.
 
62.
Plopa, M. (2007). Psychologia rodziny: teoria i badania [Family psychology: theory and research]. Kraków: Oficyna Wydawnicza Impuls.
 
63.
Plopa, M. (2008). Więzi w małżeństwie i rodzinie. Metody badań [Marital and familial ties. Research methods]. Kraków: Oficyna Wydawnicza Impuls.
 
64.
Pomerleau, A., Bolduc, D., Malcuit, G., & Cossette, L. (1990). Pink or blue: Environmental gender stereotypes in the first two years of life. Sex Roles, 22, 359–367.
 
65.
Raboteg-Saric, Z., & Sakic, M. (2014). Relations of parenting styles and friendship quality to self-esteem, life satisfaction and happiness in adolescents. Applied Research Quality Life, 9, 749–765.
 
66.
Raya, A. F., Ruiz-Olivares, R., Pino, M. J., & Herruzo, J. (2013). A review about parenting style and parenting practices and their consequences in disabled and non disabled children. International Journal of Higher Education, 2, 205–213.
 
67.
Reby, D., Levréro, F., Gustafsson, E., & Mathevon, N. (2016). Sex stereotypes influence adults’ perception of babies’ cries. BMC Psychology, 4, 19. doi: 10.1186/s40359-016-0123-6.
 
68.
Rudman, L., & Mescher, K. (2013). Penalizing men who request a family leave: Is flexibility stigma a femininity stigma? Journal of Social Issues, 69, 322–340. doi: 10.1111/josi.12017.
 
69.
Rudman, L. A., & Fairchild, K. (2004). Reactions to counterstereotypic behavior: the role of backlash in cultural stereotype maintenance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87, 157–176.
 
70.
Rudman, L. A., Moss-Racusin, C. A., Phelan, J. E., & Nauts, S. (2012). Status incongruity and backlash effects: Defending the gender hierarchy motivates prejudice against female leaders. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48, 165–179. doi: 10.1016/j.jesp.2011.10.008.
 
71.
Runions, K. C. (2014). Does gender moderate the association between children’s behaviour and teacher-child relationship in the early years? Australian Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 24, 197–214.
 
72.
Sosnowska, J. (2013). Adaptation to the institution of a kindergarten – does it concern only the child? In B. Muchacka & I. Czaja-Chudyba (eds.), Early education. Practice & Reflection (pp. 66–77). Kraków: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Uniwersytetu Pedagogicznego.
 
73.
Spera, Ch. (2005). A review of the relationship among parenting practices, parenting styles, and adolescent school achievement. Educational Psychology Review, 17, 125–146.
 
74.
Szmigielska, B., & Tomaszek, M. (2009). Stereotypy płci w okresie średniego dzieciństwa [Gender stereotypes in kindergarden children]. Psychologia Rozwojowa, 14, 21–31.
 
75.
Tani, F., Ponti, L., & Smorti, M. (2014). Shyness and psychological adjustment during adolescence: the moderating role of parenting style. The Open Psychology Journal, 7, 33–44.
 
76.
Ungar, M. (2009). Overprotective parenting: Helping parents provide children the right amount of risk and responsibility. American Journal of Family Therapy, 37, 258–271.
 
77.
Uphold-Carrier, H., & Utz, R. (2012). Parental divorce among young and adult children: A long-term quantitative analysis of mental health and family solidarity. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 53, 247–266.
 
78.
Vandello, J. A., & Bosson, J. K. (2013). Hard won and easily lost: A review and synthesis of theory and research on precarious manhood. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 14, 101–113. doi: 10.1037/a0029826.
 
79.
Vandello, J. A., Hettinger, V. H., Bosson, J. K., & Siddiqi, J. (2013). When equal isn’t really equal: the masculine dilemma of seeking work flexibility. Journal of Social Issues, 69, 303–321. doi: 10.1111/josi.12016.
 
80.
Wakulska, D. (2014). Autorytet a wychowanie – czy możliwe jest wychowanie bez autorytetu? Kwartalnik Naukowy Fides Et Ratio, 3, 23–28.
 
81.
Weisgram, E. S., Fulcher, M., & Dinella, L. M. (2014). Pink gives girls permission: Exploring the roles of explicit gender labels and gender-typed colors on preschool children’s toy preferences. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 35, 401–409. doi: 10.1016/j.appdev.2014.06.004.
 
82.
Williams, J. E., & Best, D. L. (1990). Sex and psyche: Gender and self viewed cross-culturally. Newbury Park: Sage.
 
83.
Witkowska, B. (2013). Percepcja postaw rodziciel­skich a poziom samooceny dziewcząt z anoreksją psychiczną. Psychiatria Polska, 47, 397–409.
 
84.
Wood, W., & Eagly, A. H. (2002). A cross-cultural analysis of the behavior of women and men: implications for the origins of sex differences. Psychological Bulletin, 128, 699–727. doi: 10.1037//0033-2909.128.5.699.
 
85.
Wood, W., & Eagly, A. H. (2012). Biosocial construction of sex differences and similarities in behavior. In J. M. Olson & M. P. Zanna (eds.), Advances in Experimental Social Psychology (pp. 55–123). Burlington: Academic Press.
 
86.
Young, R., Lennie, S., & Minnis, H. (2011). Children’s perceptions of parental emotional neglect and control and psychopathology. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 52, 889–897.
 
87.
Zawisza, M., Luyt, R., & Zawadzka, A. M. (2013). Societies in transition: Are they more sexist? A comparison between Polish, South African and British samples. Journal of Gender Studies, 24, 38–55.
 
88.
Ziemska, M. (2009). Postawy rodzicielskie [Parental attitudes]. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Wiedza Powszechna.
 
eISSN:2353-5571
ISSN:2353-4184