This experimental study examines attitudes toward stepmothers in the Italian context and predicts that negative attitudes towards heterosexual and lesbian stepmothers – compared to heterosexual biological mothers – would be higher at higher levels of gender role stereotypes. One hundred and eighty- nine Italian participants completed an online questionnaire in which they read one of three vignettes regarding a mother – (1) heterosexual biological mother; (2) heterosexual stepmother; (3) lesbian stepmother – and her child who was misbehaving. Then, participants responded to measures that assess their gender role beliefs and their beliefs concerning the mother and the child described in the vignette. Results of moderation analyses indicated that the lesbian and heterosexual stepmothers were perceived as being less com- petent parents, with fewer positive traits and more responsible for the child’s misbehaviour as compared to the heterosexual biological mother among participants with medium and high levels of gender role stereotypes.

Attitudes Toward Heterosexual and Lesbian Stepmothers: An Experimental Test in the Italian Context

Marco Salvati
2023-01-01

Abstract

This experimental study examines attitudes toward stepmothers in the Italian context and predicts that negative attitudes towards heterosexual and lesbian stepmothers – compared to heterosexual biological mothers – would be higher at higher levels of gender role stereotypes. One hundred and eighty- nine Italian participants completed an online questionnaire in which they read one of three vignettes regarding a mother – (1) heterosexual biological mother; (2) heterosexual stepmother; (3) lesbian stepmother – and her child who was misbehaving. Then, participants responded to measures that assess their gender role beliefs and their beliefs concerning the mother and the child described in the vignette. Results of moderation analyses indicated that the lesbian and heterosexual stepmothers were perceived as being less com- petent parents, with fewer positive traits and more responsible for the child’s misbehaviour as compared to the heterosexual biological mother among participants with medium and high levels of gender role stereotypes.
stepmothers, lesbian stepmothers, motherhood, gender role beliefs, attitudes
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1082533
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