Wow, just wow

Another paper for my to-read list. From Christina Lindblad at Business Week:

The writers, Steven Rhoads of the University of Virginia and his son, Christopher Rhoads, of the University of Connecticut, studied a sample of 181 married, heterosexual, tenure-track professors all of whom had children under two and taught at schools with parental-leave policies. While 69 percent of the women in the sample took post-birth parental leave, only 12 percent of the men took advantage of the available leave—even though it was paid. They also learned that the male professors who did so performed significantly less child care relative to their spouses. Worse yet, they report that male tenure-track professors may be abusing paternity leave by using the time to complete research or publish papers, an activity that enhances their careers while putting their female colleagues at a disadvantage. One female participant quoted in the study put it this way: “If women and men are both granted parental leaves and women recover/nurse/do primary care and men do some care and finish articles, there’s a problem.”

Without reading, I’d really like to know how big this effect is. If so few men are taking paternity leave, how big is the problem (not that is lessens the problem for those affected, I’m just wondering if we can quantify it). In addition, is there a way to change the parenting men do without getting rid of paternity leave, i.e., can we shame men into doing it differently?


Author: ekfletch

I am an independent researcher on issues of gender, labor, violence, education, and children.

2 thoughts on “Wow, just wow”

  1. Oh my. Just 12% – and I am pretty sure many of these professors are personally liberal. Not really walking the talk… I wonder if the stress of academia forces/regresses men *and* women to traditional gender roles. Maybe they just don’t have deeply-held beliefs. Sigh.

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