Make That Maternalism
By Bryan Caplan
A fun time was had by most at the Balan-Hanson debate on paternalism. In the post-debate discussion, someone raised the question of whether men or women are more “paternalistic.” Given my earlier work (not to mention casual comparison of lenient fathers versus meddling mothers) I naturally guessed that the right answer was women.
The GSS confirms my suspicion. Men are unsurprisingly more opposed to laws against pornography. But they are also markedly more favorable towards legalizing marijuana, and even to condone suicide if a person “Is tired of living and ready to die.”
People generally giggle when you mention the men’s rights movement. But once again, it looks like they’ve got a point. Fathers take the semantic blame for paternalism, but mothers seem to be its more enthusiastic proponents.