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  • Is “Paternity Leave” A Secret Barrier for Women Professionals

    The study found that female professors who take paid maternity leave spent most of their time off to focus on infant care, including breastfeeding. Male professors, on the other hand, used their paid paternity leaves to focus on things other than infant care, such as research and publishing papers.

    Fathers often talk the talk about sharing parenting duties with mothers when it comes to a newborn.  But a new study finds that couples who profess to believe in equally-shared parenting rarely do so in practice.

    The researchers surveyed 181 married, heterosexual, tenure track professors with children under age two. All of the professors had access to paid parental leave. Each survey participant was asked how their handling of about 25 child-care tasks compared with their spouse’s handling of the same tasks. Among the tasks: changing child’s diapers; taking child to doctor; feeding the child; staying home from work to care for the child; giving child a bath. (See the full list on page 21 of the study.)

    The majority of professors – both male and female, particularly the women –  held the view that men and women should share child care duties. But only three of 109 male faculty members surveyed reported that they did half or more of the care, while 70 of 73 women reported doing at least half–even when both spouses worked full time.

    The study found that female professors who take paid maternity leave spent most of their time off to focus on infant care, including breastfeeding. Male professors, on the other hand, used their paid paternity leaves to focus on things other than infant care, such as research and publishing papers.

    The study also found that women enjoyed doing child care work more than men.

    “Our results suggest that one reason why female professors do more child care may be that they like it more than men do,” the researchers wrote in the study. “This conclusion is possible even though the vast majority of female respondents and a clear majority of male respondents believe that husbands and wives should share child care equally. Gender ideology about care may be less important than feelings on these matters.”

    Read Full Article in Wall Street Journal.com

    Good luck.

    Calvin Wilson
    Founder and CEO
    Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals
    calvin.wilson1@verizon.net
    http://twitter.com/Upstart__Nation

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