Moms may transfer sexist attitudes to kids

Sept. 30, 2011 at 8:15 PM

BILBAO, Spain, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- A family's socioeconomic and cultural level are associated with sexism but mothers' attitudes may be most influential in promoting it, Spanish researchers said.

Study co-authors Maite Garaigordobil and Jones Aliri of the University of the Basque Country said mother-daughter, mother-son and father-son relationships appeared to be associated with the transference of discriminatory behavior from one generation to the next.

The study involved 1,455 adolescents ages 11-17 along with their mothers and fathers. The study highlighted the strong influence a mother has on her children and also the influence fathers have on sons.

"The degree of sexism in the mother is more linked to that of her sons or daughters in comparison to the influence of the father," Garaigordobil said in a statement.

The study, published in Psicothema, said some researchers state mothers tend to socialize more with their daughters and fathers do so more with their sons and the study confirms this hypothesis.

"If we bear in mind that women are the main victims of sexism, it is paradoxical that they are the ones who have a greater influence when it comes to the transference of such damaging attitudes," Garaigordobil said. "We are unable to confirm that this relationship is of a cause-effect nature given that our study is not correlational and does not use experimental methodology."

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