(Re)Producing Gender: Does What Parents Say and Do Matter?

Vanessa Wight, University of Maryland

The central question addressed in this paper is do gender egalitarian parents produce gender egalitarian children or, conversely, do parents who maintain more rigid gender roles produce children with similar notions of gender? Past research has generally focused on one of three competing explanations: 1) parents socialize children into gendered roles; 2) parents transmit access to social, cultural, and economic resources, which account for children’s gendered outcomes; or 3) children’s own adult circumstances, such as marital or parental status, explain gendered behavior and attitudes. Using data from the National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH), this paper expands what we know about the acquisition of gender by assessing the relative importance of each of these mechanisms with a particular focus on whether parents transmit gender to children, all things equal. The longitudinal component of the data offers the best ability to examine the transmission of gender from parents to children.

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Presented in Poster Session 2