Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Busting Up the Republicans' Palin Myth with Their Own "Mommy Penalty"

Pew brings the numbers:
Democrats were significantly more likely to vote for a candidate for Congress who is the mother of small children than to support an identical candidate who is the father of small children (33% vs. 24%). Democratic women in particular more strongly supported ... the mother than Andrew ... father (36% vs. 19%). Among Democratic men, neither gender nor parenthood made a difference.

Taken together, the findings suggest women with young children pay a "mommy penalty" among Republicans if they run for Congress. Among Democrats, by contrast, it's the fathers of small children who are at a disadvantage and it's the mothers who are more likely to be strongly supported.

These results echo the findings of other Pew surveys that show Republicans -- who are more likely to embrace traditional social values -- are far more troubled than Democrats by the long term trend toward mothers of young children working outside the home. In a 2007 survey, for example, some 53% of Republicans described this trend as bad for society, compared with just 38% of Democrats who felt the same way.
Might I suggest that the strong conservative embrace of the idea of Sarah Palin running is overcompensation for all of the conservative repression of gender equality and fairness at home and at work? It's either got to be repression or full-blown charisma envy. Otherwise, both the contradiction and the willingness suspend doubt and believe in Sarah Palin without ever actually touching her nail prints defy logic.

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