Biological essentialism, gender ideologies, and the division of housework and childcare: comparing male carer/female breadwinner and traditional families

Mariana Pinho, Ruth Gaunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present study examined the role of individuals’ social psychological characteristics in the division of housework and childcare responsibilities, comparing parents in role-reversed arrangements with parents in a more traditional division of roles. A sample of 353 parents with young children completed extensive questionnaires. As hypothesized, participants in role-reversed arrangements expressed more egalitarian gender ideologies and had a lower tendency to endorse biological essentialist beliefs compared to participants in a traditional division of roles. The findings further showed that parents’ gender ideologies and biological essentialism were interrelated and predicted their involvement in childcare and housework. Finally, maternal gatekeeping mediated the effect of mothers’ gender ideologies and biological essentialism on their involvement in housework and childcare. The findings shed light on the underlying mechanisms by which parents’ ideologies shape the division of family work and can lead to more equality in the home.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-75
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Social Psychology
Volume164
Issue number1
Early online date9 Oct 2021
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2024
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Keywords

  • Gender ideologies
  • biological essentialism
  • breadwinning mothers
  • caregiving fathers
  • maternal gatekeeping
  • parental involvement

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