Race/Ethnicity and Gender
Not surprisingly, there are demographic differences within the sample with respect to race/ethnicity: more of the African American respondents were single parents at the time of the interview, and more of this group of respondents lived in an urban area. At the same time, as noted, the professional middle – class and the working-class/middle-class groupings had equal proportions of white and African American respondents. Needless to say, there were occasions when race/ethnicity seemed of particular relevance: for example, African American mothers expressed more overt concern than did other mothers about the possibility that their children would get in trouble with the police. However, for most of the issues with which this study is concerned, race/ethnicity seemed if not irrelevant, then at least insignificant in its effects.5
Intentionally I collected more information from mothers (who are generally more engaged in the hands-on care of children) than from fathers, and I interviewed more professional middle-class fathers than fathers in the other social groupings. Once again, however, I found that with respect to attitudes, class was more important than gender: within each social class mothers and fathers gave quite similar answers with respect to most of the questions. I did not examine differences in responses by the gender of children.6 However, when an issue seemed to be of particular concern with respect to children of one gender or the other (e. g., sexual images), I have discussed that in the text.