Mothers Nurture Emotion In Their Daughters Over Their Sons

We know that women are socialized to be more emotionally expressive than men, but it turns out mothers play a particular role in enforcing this gender norm, according to new British research.

Researchers at the University of Surrey found that when mothers speak to their daughters, particularly in early years, their conversations contain more emotional words and content than when they are speaking to their sons. Mothers also used more emotional language than fathers, unconsciously providing a model for their children that reinforces gender stereotypes.

In the experiment, the researchers asked 65 Spanish mothers and fathers to participate in a storytelling task and a conversation about past experiences with their four or six-year-old children. The parents’ use of language was recorded and analyzed, and the researchers tallied the number of words associated with emotion used in each conversation.

The researchers found that mothers used more emotional language in general than fathers, and that mothers used the most emotion-associated language when speaking to their four-year-old daughters. There were no gender differences found with the parents of the six-year-old children.

Then, the researchers tested the children’s use of emotional language. Both the four-year-old and the six-year-old girls were exposed —> Read More Here


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