Inner-City Single Black Mothers’ Gender-Related Childrearing Expectations and Goals

Elizabeth Sharp, Ispa Jean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Guided by feminist and critical race theories, we examined nine young, single Black mothers’ gendered expectations and goals for their daughters and sons. Drawing on the mothers’ narratives for several years, we found that their childrearing goals reflected fears based on their own experiences. Consistent with the notion of "strong Black women," mothers valued independence and strength in their daughters. They also wanted to prevent early sexual activity. Mothers with sons couched their childrearing aspirations in terms of counter-examples, wanting their sons to be different from the men they knew. An important goal for sons was respect for women. However, all but one believed they could not really control how their sons would turn out. Images of Black masculinity and Black femininity are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)656-668
JournalSex Roles
StatePublished - Feb 2009


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