Study Shows Boys Are More Comfortable Seeing Their Moms In Traditional Roles

1950s couple

While it does seem as though the future generation is making much better strides towards gender equality, we still have a long way to go. A new survey conducted shows that most boys feel most comfortable when they see their moms as the stay at home parent while their fathers are the ones doing the 9 to 5 grind in the work force. And for a lot of parents, this is rather troubling.

According to a new survey, almost two-thirds of boys are more comfortable when their parents have more “traditional roles” in their family lives. Yes, our sons are more conservative thinking than we previously thought.

A nationwide survey of about 1,000 boys and girls from ages 10 to 19 was conducted by PerryUndem, along with Plan International USA, a development and humanitarian organization. The survey says that while 92 percent of boys do believe in gender equality, they still have archaic views when it comes to women and their place in society. And that place, for a lot of young men, might be in the kitchen, much to everyone’s surprise.

Nearly two-thirds (59 percent) of boys said, “I’m more comfortable with women having traditional roles in society, such as caring for children and family.”

Here’s the most concerning part, though: 51 percent of boys strongly agreed there should be equal numbers of men and women who are leaders in work, politics and life. That’s only half the number of the boys surveyed in the report. In comparison, 64 percent of girls strongly agreed with this statement.

stay at home mom doing laundry with son
Credit: iStock / evgenyatamanenko

If that weren’t enough, only 19 percent of teenage boys think that sexism is a problem in society, compared to 51 percent of girls.

“The study highlights the fact that girls and boys experience and perceive sexism in different ways. Clearly girls are saying they feel disrespected and treated like a sexual object to the point that they even feel unsafe," says Dr. Tessie San Martin, Ph.D., president and CEO of Plan International USA. "Meanwhile, only 19 percent of boys ages 14 to 19 think sexism is a big problem. This is not something girls alone can change. We need to empower girls, but just as important, we need to educate boys.”

This isn’t the first study that suggests young boys are growing up with conservative-minded views, compared to their fathers. The percentage of young men who actually want their partners to work has dropped steadily in the last two decades. One of the reasons that this might be the case is because so many young children see their own parents struggle with the work and life balance at home. With two people working outside of the home, there’s less of a chance that one person will be there for their child, but more of a chance that both parents will be stressed out from their job and work obligations.

With that being said, our boys might not be growing up to be sexist after all. Hopefully. Instead, they might just be using logical sense when it comes to the work, life and home balance.

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