"Everybody 'knows' that moms are more politically liberal on gun control issues," says Steven Greene. "We wanted to know if that's actually true. And, as it turns out, it's not true—which was surprising." (Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images )

Being a mom isn’t why most women support gun control laws

Moms are no more likely to support stricter gun control than other women, a new study shows.

Matt Shipman-NC State • futurity
Jan. 11, 2021 5 minSource

Mothers are not more likely to support gun control efforts, a new study shows.

In fact, the researchers report that parenthood doesn’t have a substantial effect on the gun control views of men or women.

“To be clear, most women—including most moms—support more restrictive gun laws. But it’s not because they’re parents.”

“Everybody ‘knows’ that moms are more politically liberal on gun control issues,” says Steven Greene, a professor of political science at North Carolina State University and corresponding author of the study in the Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties . “We wanted to know if that’s actually true. And, as it turns out, it’s not true—which was surprising.”

To explore the effect of parenthood on people’s gun control views , researchers drew on data the Pew Center for Research collected in 2017 as part of its nationally representative American Trends Panel.

The researchers then used statistical models to account for various confounding variables, such as political affiliation, allowing them to focus specifically on the effect that parenthood has on one’s beliefs regarding gun control.

The Pew surveys had examined a range of issues pertaining to gun control. Across the board, men were substantially more politically conservative than women on questions related to gun laws and regulations. In other words, men were more likely to favor fewer regulations and laxer legal requirements when it comes to guns.

On four of the gun control issues, parenthood had no statistical impact at all—meaning that the positions of moms were no different from the positions of women who weren’t parents, and the positions of dads were no different from the positions of men who weren’t parents.

Those four issues pertained to: gun ownership, or how permissive gun ownership laws should be; home safety , or laws pertaining to how guns and ammunition are stored or secured in the home; teachers and guns, or whether school personnel should carry firearms; and whether stricter gun laws would reduce mass shootings.

However, parenthood did have a small—but statistically significant—impact on two other gun control issues.

Mothers were actually more politically conservative than other women on the issue of gun strictness—meaning that moms were slightly more likely to support less restrictive gun laws. And fathers were more politically conservative than other men on the issue of gun prevalence—meaning they were slightly more likely to believe that more people should be allowed to own guns, and guns should be allowed in more places.

“When we talk about political movements and efforts to change laws, it’s important to have a clear, accurate sense of where people stand on the relevant issues,” Greene says.

“Using the potent symbolism of motherhood in America in order advance a political agenda , in this case, is actually ignoring the fact that positions on gun control are virtually identical for women across the board. There is some minor variation, but even there, it actually suggests that mothers are less supportive of restrictive gun laws.

“To be clear, most women—including most moms—support more restrictive gun laws. But it’s not because they’re parents.”

Source: NC State

The post Being a mom isn’t why most women support gun control laws appeared first on Futurity .


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