Source: St. Louis Globe Democrat, March 7, 1954


After marriage, the goal of many women was motherhood. The fertility rate rose 50% from 1940 to 1957. Motherhood offered validation for the choices that women made in their lives. Children promised security and fulfillment in an otherwise uncertain world.

Women came to the department stores to purchase the items that would keep their children happy. Society told women to be good, attentive mothers, but not to be too mothering, especially with their sons. Young boys that received too much attention from their mothers could become deviants that risked the security of the nation. Like the role of housewife, the role of mother took on a larger societal role. During the 1950s, many of the dominant members of society viewed all deviants as Communists, a threat to the security of the country. According to the prevailing ideas of the time, mothers needed to raise strong male children who could become part of the greater society and fight Communism from within the country and around the world. They also needed to raise girls to continue the role of the happy housewife.

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