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The Maternal Wall


*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Faye J. Crosby, Psychology Department, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 [e-mail:].


Although the economic and social position of women has improved considerably in the last decades, some gendered expectations and roles have proved remarkably resilient. Increasingly, the gender gap in compensation has become an issue of “mother” versus “other,” as, for example, working mothers earn 60% of what working fathers earn. Conservatives tend to frame the gender imbalance in terms of women's choices; but feminists, including those in this issue, debunk explanations that blame women for gender differences in earnings. Contributors to this issue, whose work we introduce here, chronicle and analyze the power of stereotypic thinking and behavior, and also discuss how to change both stereotypes and realities.