Subtle Reminders of Child-Raising Intentions and Men and Women's Perception of Paid Parental Leave Policies in the United States
Williams, Tai C.
- The United States is the only developed country that fails to provide paid parental leave (PPL) for employees, despite the financial and health benefits it has for both parents and newborn children. The present study sought to better understand one factor that might contribute to increased voter interest in PPL: reminding young men and women of their family-raising intentions. In our pre-registered ... read morestudy, we asked half of our participants whether they had children or expected to have them in the future; the other half of our participants were asked whether they had pets or expected to have them in the future. Participants (N = 312) were then presented with a variety of equitable and inequitable PPL policies and asked to indicate their interest and approval toward each. Taking into account past research findings and the distinct gendered roles men and women are often socialized to perform, we predicted that college-aged men who were asked about plans to have children in the future would view inequitable paid parental leave policies less favorably than college-aged men who were not asked about future family plans. We also expected that college-aged women would prefer more equitable paid parental leave policies than men regardless of the prime they received. Overall, results indicated that reminders of family raising intentions did not influence perceptions of equitable PPL policies; we did, however, find a main effect in which women preferred equitable PPL policies significantly more than men.read less