Caregiving dads, breadwinning mums: Transforming gender in work and childcare?

Gaunt, Ruth, Jordan, Ana, Tarrant, Anna , Chanamuto, Nicola, Pinho, Mariana and Wezyk, Agata (2022) Caregiving dads, breadwinning mums: Transforming gender in work and childcare? Project Report. The Nuffield Foundation.

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Caregiving dads, breadwinning mums: Transforming gender in work and childcare?
Project report
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Item Type:Paper or Report (Project Report)
Item Status:Live Archive


Funded by the Nuffield Foundation, this 3-year project seeks to identify routes and barriers to greater gender equality by examining parenting arrangements in which childcare responsibilities are shared equally or assumed primarily by the father. This is the first study to use a mixed-methods approach to examine couples’ work and care arrangements from the perspectives of both mothers and fathers, uniquely comparing equal sharers, role-reversed and traditional couples in a single comprehensive design. The quantitative phase drew on extensive survey data from a nationally representative sample of parents with children aged 11 or younger. The qualitative phase comprised 60 in-depth semi-structured interviews with 30 couples (where each partner was interviewed separately).
Our findings point to a discrepancy between current state and workplace policies and parents’ actual views and preferences. Gender norms and parents’ priorities are slowly changing, whereas outdated gendered policies continue to reinforce traditional norms and encourage mothers to stay at home or work part-time and fathers to work full time. These policies are incompatible with fathers’ desire to spend more time with their children and work shorter and more flexible hours. They are also incompatible with mothers’ strong work identities and desire to share family work with their partners. This research focuses on couples who managed to overcome the barriers posed by gendered policies and achieve greater equality in their family. Through their actions, they contribute to a gradual pressure that can potentially lead to the policy changes indicated in our research report.

Keywords:gender, childcare, parenting, equality
Subjects:L Social studies > L300 Sociology
C Biological Sciences > C880 Social Psychology
L Social studies > L400 Social Policy
L Social studies > L320 Gender studies
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
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ID Code:50870
Deposited On:09 Sep 2022 14:00

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