• Victoria L. Brescoll and Eric Luis Uhlmann, Department of Psychology, Yale University.

  • Both authors were supported by graduate research fellowships from the National Science Foundation while this research was conducted.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Victoria Brescoll, Department of Psychology, Yale University, 2 Hillhouse Ave., New Haven, CT 06520. E-mail:


Three studies investigated attitudes toward traditional parents (stay-at-home mothers and employed fathers) and nontraditional parents (stay-at-home fathers and employed mothers) among adult men and women. Using a between-subjects design, Study 1 found that nontraditional parents were liked significantly less than traditional parents. Participants also believed that stay-at-home fathers were not regarded highly by others. Study 2 replicated these results using a within-subjects design, suggesting that participants felt little compunction about expressing negative attitudes toward nontraditional parents. Study 3 further found that employed mothers were less disliked when described as working out of financial necessity rather than for personal fulfillment. Both male and female participants reported negative evaluations of employed mothers and stay-at-home fathers, suggesting that prescriptive gender role stereotypes represent a consensual ideology shared by men and women.