"Traditional" Marriages Affect Men's Workplace Attitudes, Study Finds

A new scientific study has discovered that men who have "traditional" marriages (i.e., their wife does not work) have negative attitudes about women in the workplace, don't like organizations with female leaders, think organizations with lots of women are inefficient, and tend not to promote qualified women to positions of greater responsibility. And they largely do this unconsciously. In other words, they don't necessarily articulate the above views, or even rationalize them. Many consider themselves as very woman-friendly. They often feel that they are protecting women by not putting them in high pressure situations.

I don't think there is anything wrong with 'traditional' marriage. I don't like their definition, but whatever. If you're fortunate enough to make enough money that your spouse doesn't have to work and can stay home with the kids, that's great. But it's interesting that men in those scenarios take certain prejudices into the workplace and that those prejudices are detrimental to the interests of working women.

This may explain why Mitt Romney needs to ask his wife what women care about instead of learning that for himself. His wife has never worked a day in her life (and, no, I will not apologize for saying that). So, what does Romney think when he goes to work?

The studies showed that personal views and the domestic architecture of male leaders' private lives helped shape women's professional opportunities. This held true in both surveys and lab experiments, including one that tested whether candidates with identical backgrounds, but different names -- Drew versus Diane -- should receive a spot in a sought-after, company-sponsored MBA program. According to the research, men in traditional marriages gave Diane "significantly poor evaluations" compared to Drew. It seems that husbands with wives working at home imprinted that ideal onto women in the office.

Michelle Obama had a very successful career before she had to shut it down to be First Lady. Jill Biden has been teaching courses at a community college even though she is the Second Lady. What do you want to bet that Romney picks a man for his running mate who has a stay-at-home wife?


Booman Tribune / By Booman | Sourced from

Posted at June 12, 2012, 5:41am

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