Women have come a long way since Seneca Falls and the trailblazing ways of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and other nineteenth century women’s activists. Once was a day when women weren’t allowed many of the basic privileges granted to men; today, the landscape of women’s rights and equality has endured, developed and transformed drastically, which means less women are in the kitchen and more women are out in the workplace.
According to figures from the U.S. Department of Labor, women comprised 46.8 percent of the total U.S. labor force in 2009 and are projected to account for 46.9 percent of the labor force in 2018.
In what seems like the blink of an eye, women have been wedged between career and family, and have to learn the juggling act. With the new ‘Supermom’ role come new family dynamics.
But not to fret, because according to newly published British research, mothers who are gainfully employed are not inflicting any significant social or emotional damage on their young children.
The study, although carried out in British, helps debunk myths in the U.S. and other places around the world that previously suggested mothers who work in the first year of a child’s life can cause a long-term detrimental influence on child behavior. The researchers found no correlation to be true.
The British study was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and analyzed information from the U.K. Millennium Cohort Study.
The researchers found that the ideal situation for children was to have both the father and mother bringing home the bread and bacon.
But if the mother was not employed, researchers found that girls were more likely to have behavioral difficulties by the age of 5 as compared to girls living in dual-earner households and as compared to boys. It seems the mother’s unemployment had lesser of an effect on sons than daughters.
"Mothers who work are more likely to have higher educational qualifications, live in a higher income household, and have a lower likelihood of being depressed than mothers who are not in paid work,” said Dr. Anne McMunn, the principal researcher in the study.
“The study bolstered previous evidence that behavioral problems by age 5 arise more frequently (although not always) in those households where both parents struggle with unemployment, as well as in single-mom households,” according to a release on the study.
While Elizabeth Cady Stanton was setting an example for women many generations to come, it seems the same occurs for children and their example-setting Parents.
Parents who both earn money and bring value to the table have positive affects on both boys and girls. It’s important to note that women can be superstars in the real world and the family world.
Children Fare OK if Mom Works, Study Finds
Working mothers and the effects on children
U.S. Department of Labor: Quick stats on women workers
Reviewed July 27, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg R.N.
Edited by Shannon Koehle
Bailey Mosier is a freelance journalist living in Orlando, Florida. She received a Masters of Journalism from Arizona State University, played D-I golf, has been editor of a Scottsdale-based golf magazine and currently contributes to GolfChannel.com. She aims to live an active, healthy lifestyle full of sunshine and smiles.