Does it take a woman to mother?

FIGURING FAITH | On Mother’s Day it seems appropriate to ask—are mothers more natural parents? This week’s graphic from the … Continued

FIGURING FAITH | On Mother’s Day it seems appropriate to ask—are mothers more natural parents?

This week’s graphic from the Public Religion Research Institute shows that a majority (54 percent) of Americans agree that women are naturally better suited to raise children than men. Surprisingly, there is no gender gap on this question: 54 percent of men and 54 percent women agree that women are naturally better suited to raise children. However, there are significant differences between different groups of women. Among mothers, for example, 57 percent say that women are naturally better suited to raise children, while only 51 percent of women without children agree.

The most striking differences, however, can be seen across race, age, and religion. Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of women who are 65 and older agree that women are naturally better suited to raise children, compared to about half of women in younger age groups. Hispanic women are the most likely to say that women are naturally better suited to raise children (67 percent), compared to approximately 6-in-10 (59 percent) black women and approximately half (49 percent) of white women. One of the largest gaps among women is seen across lines of religious affiliation: 6-in-10 (60 percent) white evangelical Protestant women agree that women are naturally better suited to raise children than men, compared to 4-in-10 (40 percent) religiously unaffiliated women.


Graphic: Public Religion Research Institute

Robert P. Jones
Written by
  • Dixie Suzan Davis

    Quote—Our bodies are shaped to bear children, and our lives are a working out of the processes of creation. All our ambitions and intelligence are beside that great elemental point.—Saint Augustine

  • Catken1

    In Augustine’s day, most babies died before they reached adulthood, and children were economic assets to their families, rather than costing families substantial amounts for educational funding in particular.
    We can no longer afford to divert half the population’s energy and time to continual bearing, and we can’t afford to care for all the resulting kids in the modern era. Fact is, most families can no longer afford to have more than two or three kids, max, and most women are going to spend a large portion of their lives doing something other than mothering. We can no longer treat women as though our uteri were of supreme importance, and our brains and other talents of secondary value at best.

  • immigrant1

    Depends on perspective. I still feel children are an asset specially when your family is close nit and together supporting one another. It also depends on your frame of mind. Most unselfish people look at children as assets and having more children and less material things is a life style decision.

  • Catken1

    Children are certainly an asset in most ways. My son is the light of my life. Purely financially, however, children now entail a serious economic cost, where they used to be able to go out at a relatively young age and bring in income for the family. Frankly, I consider the modern way quite superior – I would far rather have my child get an expensive college education than slave seven days a week, twelve hours a day, in a dangerous factory. (If we lived in a more agricultural society, working on a farm is not so bad, and would be a reasonable alternative – but the fact is, for success in modern life, even kids of farm families need college educations.)

    But the fact is that that means, practically, that most families can have and reasonably support fewer children. For most of us, it’s not a choice between “more children and fewer [not less] material things,” as you self-righteously put it – for most of us, it’s a choice between “having more children and being able to feed, clothe, house and educate the children we have.”

  • Dixie Suzan Davis

    Catken1 – Thank ya’ll for your reply. Sounds like you support Planned Barrenhood.
    Quote—We can no longer afford to divert half the population’s energy and time to continual bearing,…—Why not? Ya’ll is ballyhooin only a nice sounding boneheaded assertion pitch. I thought bearing children never was a diversion. So now its a diversion. Modern times, national barrenness in all the females is not a diversion, its feminist progress? Make a non-diversionary USA formal title of ignobility, A Barronness of Kansas, Ms. Bonehead. Show her off, she’s non-diversionary. Is random short term concubinage for a fee now a new non-diversity potential occupation if one lives on contraceptive sandwiches while actively employment?
    Quote—we can’t afford to care for all the resulting kids in the modern era. — Where in the world are you getting this stuff from? Do you smoke marijuana heavily? So the New Black Panther Party advocates firing bombing White baby nurseries. Maybe you are for fire bombing all nurseries containing babies. Racial fire bombing equality. Spare a baby and bankrupt the world.
    Quote—….most women are going to spend a large portion of their lives doing something other than mothering— Is this your play for mass lesbianating?? No mothering just lesbianating a whole lot??? Goodness gracious, ya’ll is headed down perditions road with a skip, a hop, and a song with a pied piper tune a nonsense, and I ain’t goin with ya. I am even more curious now ’bout my marijuana question to ya’ll. Halucinations like this is scary things.
    Quote—We can no longer treat women as though our uteri were of supreme importance, and our brains and other talents of secondary value at best. — So now ya’ll is public mass advocatin surgical mutilations a uteri to make sure ya’ll brains gets activated??? Ya’ll is second bet until ya’ll gets surgically mutilated???
    Now here is where I REALLY want to know the answer to my heavy marijuana smokin question to ya’ll.

  • Dixie Suzan Davis

    immigrant1 – Thank ya’ll for your reply.
    Quote—I still feel children are an asset — This is gettin scary. I answered Catken1 but maybe she never thought of children as an asset. But maybe for some a these other liberal folks they gonna wake up one mornin and says to themselves “I am goin out and do some non-divertionary lesbinatin n the kids just ain’t no assets no more. Tommy come here and meet Mommies loaded 12 guage, Sue, you come too.”

  • Dixie Suzan Davis

    Catken1 – Thank ya’ll a 2nd time for your reply.
    Quote–Purely financially, however, children now entail a serious economic cost, where they used to be able to go out at a relatively young age and bring in income for the family.—
    I am pleased to hear ya’ll ain’t plannin on shotgunnin the kids right away. Did ya’ll ever look down and notice that feedin ya’ll s legs entailed a serious economic cost? Frankly, wouldn’t ya’ll consider a more modern way quite superior by havin em surgically removed rather than have em slave seven days a week, twelve hours a day, in a dangerous factory, or as a waitress when ya’ll could sell em embalmed to a college medical school as semi-human leg specimens?
    That’s the modern way.
    Quote—For most of us, it’s not a choice between “more children and fewer [not less] material things,” as you self-righteously put it —
    Great heavenly days, self righteously put it. I am chocked up to the gills here n must cool off a minute.
    Quote —-for most of us, it’s a choice between “having more children and being able to feed, clothe, house and educate the children we have.— Farm folks. Ya’ll makes do with the best ya’ll can dear, and places trust in God too, which appears to be somethin ya’ll doesn’t have. Its the modern way huh. I could say more but best quit here. I will only get angry. Have a nice day.