Biological essentialism, gender ideologies, and role attitudes: what determines parents’ involvement in child care

Gaunt, Ruth (2006) Biological essentialism, gender ideologies, and role attitudes: what determines parents’ involvement in child care. Sex Roles, 55 (7-8). pp. 523-533. ISSN 0360-0025

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Full text URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11199-006-9105-0

Abstract

This study draws on Bem’s (1993) conceptualization of biological essentialism to explore fathers’ and mothers’ involvement in child care. The relationships between parental essentialist perceptions, gender ideology, fathers' role attitudes, and various forms of involvement in child care were examined. Two hundred and nine couples with 6 to 36-month-old children completed extensive questionnaires. Analyses revealed that fathers' essentialist perceptions predicted involvement in child care tasks and hours of care by the mother, whereas mothers' essentialist perceptions predicted hours of care by the father. Parents' attitudes toward the father's role predicted involvement in child care tasks. Parents’ attitudes and perceptions contributed to involvement in child care even after the effects of the parents’ employment were controlled. The importance of examining various aspects of parents’ views, and distinguishing different forms of involvement in child care is discussed.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:This study draws on Bem’s (1993) conceptualization of biological essentialism to explore fathers’ and mothers’ involvement in child care. The relationships between parental essentialist perceptions, gender ideology, fathers' role attitudes, and various forms of involvement in child care were examined. Two hundred and nine couples with 6 to 36-month-old children completed extensive questionnaires. Analyses revealed that fathers' essentialist perceptions predicted involvement in child care tasks and hours of care by the mother, whereas mothers' essentialist perceptions predicted hours of care by the father. Parents' attitudes toward the father's role predicted involvement in child care tasks. Parents’ attitudes and perceptions contributed to involvement in child care even after the effects of the parents’ employment were controlled. The importance of examining various aspects of parents’ views, and distinguishing different forms of involvement in child care is discussed.
Keywords:child care, essentialism, father involvement, gender ideology
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:6397
Deposited By: Ruth Gaunt
Deposited On:01 Oct 2012 22:10
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 09:15

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