Psychologist at Montana State Finds Persisting Bias Against Breastfeeding Mothers

Jessi L. Smith, an associate professor of psychology at Montana State University, recently completed a study which shows that women who breastfeed continue to face strong bias from both men and women.

In a series of social psychology experiments, Professor Smith found that respondents believed that nursing mothers were not as competent mentally. Furthermore, the respondents were found less likely to hire breastfeeding mothers for a job than women who were not breastfeeding.

Smith recommends that employers set aside a private area in the workplace where mothers can breastfeed their children. She helped establish such a facility at Montana State.

Dr. Smith is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Utah.

The study, “Spoiled Milk: An Experimental Examination of Bias Against Mothers Who Breastfeed,” was published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. To download the article, click here.

photo credit: Kelly Gorham

Filed Under: Research/Study


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