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Keywords:

  • childfree;
  • women;
  • perceptions;
  • gender;
  • ethnicity

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of ethnicity on perceptions of voluntary childfree women. We were interested in determining whether mothers were viewed as more stereotypically positive than women without children and how the ethnicity of the participant and the target impacted participants' ratings. We utilized vignettes and manipulated motherhood status and ethnicity of the target. Participants (n = 224) were comprised of female university students in the southwestern region of the United States. Results indicated that women view childfree women negatively. Moreover, women view African American mothers more favourably than childfree African American women. Results are discussed in terms of gender roles in communities of colour. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.