Fatherhood Changes Men’s Views on Gender Roles—And Not for the Better

by Samantha Baumgartner

You’ve just spent hours in the delivery room pushing through the pain, and the moment you’ve been waiting for has arrived – your child is here.

You and the father glance at each other – happily – because you did it, and once you arrive home, the one thing you want to do is sleep, after all, you did just produce a baby. Unfortunately, research suggests the father will pull a 180 and want you to do all the work; it seems sleep is no longer an option for you.

According to a study produced by Australian social scientist Janeen Baxter, men “became more consistently traditional in their views on gender roles,” and “appear to shrink women’s identities as workers, shifting to a more traditional view of women as caring mothers and housekeepers.”

What gives, dudes? Women spend nine months growing a human being and deserve a chance to work hard to provide for the child if they want to, yet on average, new fathers are .1 percent less supportive of the idea than the 4 percent of new mothers.

Baxter believes it is the way work and school arrange social constructs like parental leave. She thinks it is hard for new parents not to conform to these odds, especially when so little has been done to change the system. Even welfare prioritizes the mother’s role as caregiver, and the pressure is hard to avoid.

That being said, some new mothers do not agree that housework should be shared equally if both parents work – setting women backwards on our route towards total gender equality.

There does not seem to be a solution in place, but Baxter does say it takes confidence and persistence, “whether you are male or female…not to conform amid such powerful messaging.” Let’s break down these social barriers and do what we (truly) want to as parents.

 Original article via the Independent.

Photo via the Telegraph

Read more on Bust.com:

No, Your Harvard Degree Is Not A Waste If You Decide To Stay Home

Getty Images’ New #LeanInTogether Series Redefines Fatherhood

Child Custody Biases Are Not Gendered

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