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Perception of Labels

stay-at-home1

Dave Munger at Cognitive Daily ran a little experiment to see how people reacted to the terms “stay at home father” (or mother) versus just plain father and mother. The results are discouraging, but not totally unexpected. Participants in the experiment did not make comparisons; they were presented with a story featuring a character who carried one of the four labels. The graph represents how many hours 1200 respondents estimated that the person they read about worked. Link

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The way the questions were worded, it is clear they are asking about the character's "outside work". The participants weren't expected to include housework. But those who are telecommuters suffer from the perception that they don't work as many hours at their jobs when they are labeled as a SAHM or SAHD. The label itself seems to imply that the worker was "at home" because of the kids, not because it's a job they CAN do from home.
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Apparently the people in the test assumed 'work' as having outside employment, which isn't an uncommon assumption in the United States and probably also not uncommon in the rest of the westernized world. Take the same test to a different culture and you'll probably get a different result.
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Wasn't there a study a while ago that said that if stay at home mothers got paid proportional to the work they did, they'd be six-figure earners?
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