The Corner

Culture

Some Good Facts about Dads

Happy Father’s Day! Even in 2019, there’s a time of year we can all be nice to at least one subcategory of males, right?

Okay, perhaps not. But earlier this week, I published an antidote to dad-bashing over at the Institute for Family Studies blog.

You know all the complaints you always see about how men don’t do their fair share of housework, even in dual-earner households? I ran the numbers. And it’s not true, at least not in any meaningful sense: When you add up housework, child care, and paid work, if anything it’s dads who do more work in total. Which is to say, the “housework gap” and the “child-care gap” are canceled out by a “paid-work gap” in the opposite direction.

The total amount of time that moms and dads spend working is actually pretty even across numerous types of families, with the exception of those where one partner stays home and the other works full-time for pay. In these families, the employed partner works more. That’s usually the dad — though when dads do stay home, they work less than stay-at-home moms do.

Of course, you can be unhappy about the ways in which American couples choose to split up family responsibilities, with men doing more paid work and women doing more housework and child care. Maybe, instead of doing what works best for their own families, couples should divide the responsibilities in a gender-equitable way so there’s no “housework gap” or “child-care gap” or “paid-work gap” at all. Good luck making that case to the people who actually make these decisions and live with them, though.

Check out the full piece for a lot more.

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