Are Changing Gender Roles Reflected in Popular Parenting Magazines?

Rachel Schmitz authored a new study on gender rolesA new study authored by Rachel Schmitz, a graduate student in sociology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, examines how parenting magazines portray how men and women perform as parents.

Parenting roles have changed significant over the last several generations. More women are in the workforce and more men are taking on responsibilities in the home and in parenting. But Schmitz’s study finds that these changing roles are not reflected in parenting magazines to the degree that they have occurred in society.

According to her research, that included articles in five leading parenting magazines, only 10 percent of all articles in these magazines challenged the notion of the mother as the primary caregiver.

“If men are reading these magazines seeking out advice and they’re not seeing themselves represented, or if they see themselves represented as more of a type of mockery, they may not see themselves as legitimate parents or they may questions their own ability to parent,” Schmitz said.

The study, “Constructing Men as Fathers: A Content Analysis of Formulations of Fatherhood in Parenting Magazines,” appeared in the January issue of the Journal of Men’s Studies. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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