By Holly Lebowitz Rossi

Attachment parenting, the parenting philosophy that captured national attention when a controversial Time magazine cover sparked debate, has the support of a high number of self-identified feminists, a new study published in the journal Sex Roles has found.

The study asked mothers and non-mothers--who either did or did not identify themselves as feminists--to rate their level of support of a number of parenting principles, including the length of time children should be breastfed (from not at all to more than 18 months), whether mothers should carry their children in slings or arms as often as possible, and whether parents should co-sleep with their children.

On all of those measures, feminist mothers were most likely to support attachment parenting principles, with non-feminist mothers right behind them, and non-feminist non-mothers the least likely to support the principles.

The findings are intertwined with the perennial question of how to define feminism.  The study's authors, psychologists Miriam Liss and Mindy J. Erchull, write that the self-identified feminists in the study "saw themselves as somewhat atypical feminists who were more interested in attachment parenting than they thought was typical of feminists."

Image: Baby in a sling, via Shutterstock

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