Student Research Paper
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The United States is the only industrialized country in the world to not have a federally mandated paid maternity leave. While there is an obvious lack of maternity leave policy in the United States, there is not adequate explanation of this lack. There are some current theories used to explain this problem, such as Hofstede’s theory of individualism, and historical influence, but they are not able to fully explain why there is not maternity policy in the United States. A new proposed theory, the Gender Role-Perception Theory combines gender roles in the United States and attitudes/perceptions towards working mothers to explain how society’s negative views of working mothers who abandon their traditional gender roles leads to the unavailability of maternity policy. Results indicated that while the Gender Role-Perception Theory did not predict attitudes towards a federally mandated maternity leave in general, it did predict attitudes towards paid federally mandated maternity leave. Additional findings included males being more supportive of maternity leave than females, and a liberal political affiliation being significantly correlated with attitudes towards a federally mandated maternity leave.
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Boucher, Erica R., "Testing the Gender Role-Perception Theory: A Proposed Explanation for the Lack of Maternity Leave Policy in the United States" (2019). Student Publications. 726.