54% of adults believe motherhood to be a woman’s most important role, according to the most recent Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey around Mother’s Day.
60% of women and 49% of men comprise the aforementioned.54%.
Further sorting by age and gender into respondents over and under 40 it gets more interesting. Men over 40 were less likely (47%) than men under 40 (55%) to see motherhood as a woman’s most important role. However the reverse was true of women. 61% of those over 40 said motherhood was a woman’s most important role while 55% of those under 40 shared that view .
The other interesting finding was the split by income bracket. Those in the lowest bracket (<$30k) and those in the highest bracket (>$200k) held the highest esteem for a woman’s role as mother, respectively 62% and 55%. The other three income brackets in between were lower, with the lowest being the bracket $100k-$200k at 48%.
There is plenty to mine from the juxtaposition of similar surveys about fatherhood but that channel is already cut deeply in the minds of people who read men’s blogs.
More interesting is how difficult it is to accept the fact that women value a woman’s role as mother more than men value a woman’s role as mother.
I have a theory as to why. Its simple, and it is the reason I do not usually react to survey results. Women are inclined to respond in the manner that would reflect how they want to be perceived by others, regardless if they walk out the value choice they reflect in the response. And men, being Lift chasers even if only as a mental exercise, respond in the manner in which they believe the majority of women they know would approve. The wife’s opinion gets extra weight. She might ask how he responded.
The men’s age split fits my anecdotal observation that the boomers and close following generation are male feminists, or at least scared into responding as such, while there is at least more of a nod to traditionalism in those under 40.
The women’s age split stays with the notion that women respond in ways that they wish to be perceived by peers. The 61% of women over 40 were favorable to motherhood means they want to be viewed as a proponent of motherhood by peers who want the same. The under 40 group has a peer set less likely to want to be perceived as putting motherhood as a top priority. a 5% difference shows a demographic in transition whereby the women would probably like to have devalued motherhood but still do not feel safe in letting it all hang out.