Four in Ten Americans Believe Women’s Role is as Mothers and Wives

Latest Ipsos Global Trends Survey Focuses on Gender and Parenting

The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
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Washington, DC - The latest Ipsos Global Trends Survey reveals that nearly nine in ten Americans believe parents today do not take enough responsibility for the behavior of their children (87%). Only behind South Africa (89%), the US is significantly higher than the 77% average among 23 countries. At the bottom of the list, only 60% of Japanese agree, closely followed by South Korea (65%).

The US is less progressive than many other developed countries on the role of women in society with 41% of Americans agreeing that the role of women in society is to be good mothers and wives. Only 52% of Americans disagree with this sentiment, below the 58% average disagreement among the 23 countries. Only three countries have a majority who believe women’s role is to be good wives and mothers, Indonesia (76%), Russia (69%), and India (64%). The countries with the highest levels of disagreement include Sweden (78%) and Spain (77%). 

The US has similarly conservative views when it comes to married vs. unmarried parents, 70% agreeing it is better for parents of children to be married rather than unmarried. This level of agreement is significantly higher than the overall average of 57%. Not surprisingly, Indonesia tops this list too, with 85% agreeing it is better for parents to be married. Spain is again at the bottom of the list with only 24% agreeing parents should be married, and a significant 65% disagreeing with the sentiment.

Despite more conservative answers on the role of women, nearly three quarters of Americans believe men now have a greater responsibility for the home and childcare than ever before (73%). While above the overall average, the US still falls behind other developed countries on the list, including Canada (74%) and Great Britain (76%). At the bottom of the list, less than half agree that men now have greater responsibility for the home and childcare in Poland (49%) and Russia (39%).

The report is available for download.

The 2017 Global Trends Survey is an Ipsos survey conducted with 18,180 adults aged 16-64 (in the US and Canada 18-64) between 12 September and 11 October 2016. This is the second wave of the Global Trends Survey – a previous version was run in 2013 with 20 countries and the report was published in 2014.

The survey was carried out online using the Ipsos Online Panel System in 23 countries -Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Great Britain, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Japan, Peru, Poland, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States of America. The 2014 wave covered the same countries, except for Indonesia, Mexico and Peru. 

Approximately 1000+ individuals were surveyed in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Spain, Great Britain and the United States of America.  Approximately 500+ individuals were surveyed in Argentina, Belgium, Poland, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Sweden and Turkey.

In established markets with a higher level of internet penetration (more than 60% online), the results can be taken as representative of the general working age population. However, in emerging markets where internet penetration is lower, the results should be viewed as representative of a more urban, affluent and ‘connected’ population. The results are weighted to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the adult population according to the most recent country census data, and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe.  Total global data have not been weighted by population size, but are simply a country average. Where results do not sum to 100, this may be due to computer rounding, multiple responses, or the exclusion of don’t knows or not stated responses. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information about conducting research intended for public release or Ipsos’ online polling methodology, please visit our Public Opinion Polling and Communication page where you can  download our brochure, see our public release protocol, or contact us.

For more information on this news release please contact:

Chris Jackson
Vice President
Ipsos Public Affairs
[email protected]

About Ipsos Public Affairs

Ipsos Public Affairs is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research practice made up of seasoned professionals. We conduct strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research, but elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research.

Ipsos has media partnerships with the most prestigious news organizations around the world. In Canada, the U.S., UK, and internationally, Ipsos Public Affairs is the media polling supplier to Reuters News, the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. Ipsos Public Affairs is a member of the Ipsos Group, a leading global survey-based market research company. We provide boutique-style customer service and work closely with our clients, while also undertaking global research.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks fourth in the global research industry.

With offices in 89 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across five research specializations: brand, advertising and media; customer loyalty; marketing; public affairs research; and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,782.7 million in 2016.

The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs

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