Sociology, Department of
Variation in Attitudes toward Being a Mother by Race/Ethnicity and Education among Women in the United States
Date of this Version
Published in Sociological Perspectives (2016) 20pp
Do differences in experiences of motherhood (e.g., number of children, age at first child, and relationship type) by race/ethnicity and social class mean that attitudes toward motherhood also vary by social location? We examine attitudes toward being a mother among black, Hispanic, Asian, and white women of higher and lower socioeconomic status (SES, as measured by education). Results using the National Survey of Fertility Barriers (N = 4,796) indicate that, despite fertility differences, attitudes toward being a mother differ little between groups. White and Asian women have higher positive attitudes toward being a mother than black and Hispanic women. Only black women appear to distinguish between having and raising children; surprisingly, lower educated Hispanic women are less likely to think that they would be a mother, see motherhood as fulfilling, and think that it is important to have and to raise children compared with higher educated, white women.
© Tichenor, McQuillan, Greil, Bedrous, Clark, Shreffler