Yesterday saw yet more "women should know their place" propaganda from the Daily Mail. The Mail reported from a recent meta-analysis that children suffer when mothers return to work in the year after giving birth:
Youngsters are less likely to succeed at school if their mothers return to work within a year of their birth, according to a major study. Children of mothers who resume work during their first year of life end up faring worse in formal exams and show signs of being more disruptive. The child’s success was particularly affected if the mother’s work was full-time, the study spanning five decades found.
Unsurprisingly, the Mail has taken some of the the findings from this meta-analysis and construed them for its own ends. It neglects to point out, for example, that issues around socio-economic status and family structure are equally important.
This message from the Mail resonates with John Bowlby's thesis in the the 1940s when he conducted research on child development and "found" that mothers should stay at home for their children's benefit. It transpired that Bowlby's research was part of a wider government campaign to force women back into the home after WWII so that men returning from the war could regain employment. There is every reason to believe now that that the Daily Mail has the same agenda. Indeed, this agenda may be an indication of the current government plans in the coming years. It is now believed that women will suffer most from the financial cuts which were recently announced, and will be most likely to lose their jobs, so it is all too plausible that the government is planning to force women back into the home under the pretence of "child welfare" in order to alleviate pressure on the economy. Such an agenda would never be explicit, of course, but I don't have any doubts that Cameron is devious enough to exact it. We will have to wait and see.