Adults (151 female, 130 male; 17.4% African American/Black, 48% Caucasian, 22.8% Latino/Hispanic, 11.7% “other”) assigned postdivorce parental care and custody for four combinations of traditional/nontraditional mothers and fathers described in vignettes of divorcing parents. Parental gender characteristics influenced the assignment of parental care and child custody to divorcing mothers and fathers described in the scenarios and interacted with child gender. Across scenarios, female participants assigned more parental care and custody to mothers than did male participants. When feminine qualities were paired with masculine qualities, greater custody was assigned to the parent described with feminine characteristics (whether a father or mother) than when that parent was described with masculine characteristics. The role of feminine gender characteristics for child custody and care was discussed with regard to maternal primacy and possible changes for father involvement in the aftermath of divorce.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 16, 2004
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