Tomboy Woman, Rebel Mom - New Study Reveals Parenting Differences Between Traditional and Modern Moms

Share Article

A new study by indicates that women who had tomboyish tendencies as a child are more likely to adopt modern gender role beliefs regarding how they raise their children.

Tomboy girls are more likely to grow up to become progressive-minded moms.

Girls who grew up as tomboys are more likely to eschew traditional views of womanhood and motherhood.

We are ushering in new, more varied views of what it means to be a woman and a mom, and not just in Western countries.

Not all women envision themselves as June Cleaver-esque moms, with the spotless homes, perfectly coiffed hair (no messy buns here), and freshly baked cookies. Granted, some women still embrace traditional views on parenting, but recent research from PsychTests indicates that modern women, particularly those who grew up as “tomboys,” are giving the boot to conventional gender role views on how to raise their kids, and casting aside gender stereotypes regarding how boys and girls should behave.

Analyzing data from 5,437 women who took the Gender Roles Test, PsychTests’ researchers compared two unique groups of women: Those with “tomboy” tendencies and those who are/were more “girly”. Here’s how the two groups compared in terms of their attitudes towards parenting and gender stereotypes:

  • 81% of tomboys and 63% of girly-girls support the idea of stay-at-home dads and working moms.
  • 4% of tomboys and 15% of girly-girls believe that moms who put their kids in daycare in order to have a career are neglecting their children.
  • 11% of tomboys and 22% of girly-girls believe that women should be responsible for the bulk of the childcare.
  • 9% of tomboys and 20% of girly-girls believe that men should be the ones to discipline children.
  • 30% of tomboys and 53% of girly-girls believe that girls and boys are naturally inclined to adopt behaviors and interests traditionally related to their gender.
  • 5% of tomboys and 15% of girly-girls said that it would bother them if their son developed an interest in stereotypically feminine activities, and would discourage or even punish it (13% vs. 31% respectively).
  • 13% of tomboys and 20% of girly-girls believe that boys should do whatever they can to avoid being called a sissy.
  • 11% of tomboys and 21% of girly-girls said that they would be uncomfortable seeing a little boy dressed in pink.
  • 2% of tomboys and 15% of girly-girls believe that little girls should be discouraged from being too tomboyish.
  • 71% of tomboys and 55% of girly-girls would opt for a gender-neutral nursery.
  • 90% of tomboys and 75% of girly-girls believe that girls should be encouraged to reach for any goal they are interested in, even if it’s not a traditionally feminine aspiration.

“We are ushering in new, more varied views of what it means to be a woman and a mom, and not just in Western countries,” explains Dr. Jerabek, president of PsychTests. “Even in traditionally patriarchal societies we are starting to see a shift, a revamp of the role of women in society. You can even see evidence of this on TV shows, where the depiction of moms is being completely redefined. The June-Cleaver-type moms are fading away; now we’re seeing corporate moms, single moms, and women who eschew motherhood completely. This doesn’t mean that every little tomboy will grow up to be a modern-thinking feminist; in fact, only 15% of the tomboys - and 13% of girly-girls - are involved in feminist causes. What our study has shown is that women who were given the freedom to explore interests beyond the dictates of gender stereotypes have developed a much broader, less limiting view of what it means to be a woman and mom. These women want to be, or already are, the type of moms who want their kids to grow up in a world where their possibilities are limitless.”

Do you have traditional or modern gender role beliefs? Check out (Gender Roles Test for Women) or (Gender Roles Test for Men)

Professional users can request a free demo for this or other athletic assessments from ARCH Profile’s extensive battery:

To learn more about psychological testing, download this free eBook:

To have these press releases delivered directly to your inbox, send us an email and we will add you to our mailing list: pressreleases(at)

About PsychTests AIM Inc.
PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the internet scene in 1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. PsychTests AIM Inc. staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts (see The company’s research division, Plumeus Inc., is supported in part by Research and Development Tax Credit awarded by Industry Canada.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Ilona Jerabek, Ph.D.
Visit website