Warning to breastfeeding mothers

April 15, 2011

While breastfeeding babies has numerous health advantages to both mother and child, mothers who breastfeed may find that other people look down on them and do not want to work with them. A recent study released by Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that mothers who breastfeed are viewed as less competent than other women.

Researchers conducted three varying double blind studies to determine the views of others towards breastfeeding moms. One study, for example, asked participants to measure the competence, math competence and likelihood that they would hire a breastfeeding mom as opposed to other groups, such as women, and moms in general. In all three studies, the results showed the breastfeeding woman was rated significantly less competent in general, in math and work specifically, and was less likely to be hired compared to others.

"What's surprising is that the results from the study showed that the breastfeeding mother was excluded from a potential job opportunity," wrote article lead author Jessi L. Smith of Montana State University, "even though none of the women were visibly breastfeeding. We can only speculate that the evidence for bias would be even greater if people were to rate an actual woman engaging in public nursing."

Another point of discussion in the findings was the bias against breastfeeding mothers was equal among men and women.

"Breastfeeding is healthy and cheap, but relatively few women do it," wrote the researchers. "A woman may not breastfeed because of worry over how she will be evaluated by other people. Data from the current project suggest that this worry may be warranted, to the extent that breastfeeding is a devalued social category."

By calling attention to the prejudice that breastfeeding mothers might face, the researchers hope to alert to the need to help mothers overcome the possible negative experiences they encounter, which ultimately might increase breastfeeding rates. "The result of more mothers who breastfeed is the force for social change; more visible should prompt people to wrestle with and debate the issues. With time, greater numbers of who breastfeed translates to less prejudice."

More information: The article "Spoiled Milk: An Experimental Examination of Bias Against Mothers Who Breastfeed" in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, is available free for a limited time at: psp.sagepub.com/content/early/ … 401629.full.pdf+html

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11 comments

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neiorah
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 15, 2011
Any man or woman whom criticizes or looks down on women who choose breast feeding needs to remember that this is the way their ancestors survived as children and they need not to be such idiots.Just because a woman chooses to breast feed does not mean they are any less of a woman. In fact womens chromosomes are larger then a males and we are smarter because we are capable to do these motherly things. Eat s--t you dullards !
PPihkala
5 / 5 (2) Apr 16, 2011
In fact womens chromosomes are larger then a males and we are smarter because we are capable to do these motherly things.

I suppose you have studies to give proof for this claim? If not, then I must assume it's just stupidity talking here.
kaasinees
not rated yet Apr 16, 2011
Maybe they do not breastfeed becauase they worry about their BOOBS.
CarolinaScotsman
not rated yet Apr 16, 2011
Society cannot eliminate prejudice until society finds a way to eliminate stupidity.
6_6
not rated yet Apr 16, 2011
less competant? pff.. babies should be breastfed (discreetly of course..) as long as possible.. they'll be healthier for their whole life
Skepticus
not rated yet Apr 17, 2011
This is the most retard attitude Western society has adopted. The sight of the most natural way of feeding newborn si somehow sexualized into a stupid taboo. They have no qualm displaying and watching bare breasts but baulk whenever a newborn sucks on them. Those hypocrites should've choked and died on their bottles and save the human race from another display of irrationality.
semmsterr
not rated yet Apr 18, 2011
This is the most retard attitude Western society has adopted. The sight of the most natural way of feeding newborn si somehow sexualized into a stupid taboo. They have no qualm displaying and watching bare breasts but baulk whenever a newborn sucks on them. Those hypocrites should've choked and died on their bottles and save the human race from another display of irrationality.


As harsh as this sounds, I concur.
J-n
5 / 5 (1) Apr 18, 2011
I doubt that the same folks who watch tv and see breasts (and are okay with it) are the same who decry breast feeding as wrong. I suspect that it is the crowd who also wishes to decide many other things for women (reproductive rights, etc), and who already express their distaste for all nudity.

Skepticus
not rated yet Apr 18, 2011
I doubt that the same folks who watch tv and see breasts (and are okay with it) are the same who decry breast feeding as wrong. I suspect that it is the crowd who also wishes to decide many other things for women (reproductive rights, etc), and who already express their distaste for all nudity.


Maybe they should ask their God why they are made with exposed parts but it is a sin to expose them or used as God intended?
Jimee
not rated yet Apr 19, 2011
This is so disgusting I don't know whether to vote 5 for, "Wake up America!" or a 1 for, "How pathetic are we?" On another note, I heard that Ayn Rand drew inspiration for her philosophy from a sociopathic murderer she discovered when she moved to America. Such a noble model.
rgwalther
not rated yet Apr 22, 2011
The apparent sociological conclusions of this research are asinine.
Unfortunately, neiorah's rant seems to validate the 'rule of thumb'.
And sadly, the first thing intelligence added to humanity was religion.

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