Why Aren't More Dads Taking Paternity Leave?

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Are dads just providing lip service to splitting childcare duties?

A University of Virginia study of 181 married, heterosexual professors with toddlers, found that only three male faculty took paternity leave while 70 female faculty took maternity leave.

“When both male and female college professors have the freedom to take post-birth parental leave, the men almost never do half of the infant care from birth to age 2, even when they believe that childcare should be shared equally,” researchers concluded, adding that this development is something which “undermine[s] women's equality in academia.”

“. . . [R]efusal to take sex differences seriously,” the researchers said, “rather than helping women, leads to a policy that could injure females seeking tenure by giving their male counterparts an unfair advantage.”

In the U.K., a recent survey by Opinion Matters found that 40% of men opt out of their right to take time off for childcare, choosing to stay at work intstead.

Why? Researchers cited a variety of possible reasons, including a perceived social stigma against dads who choose to work part-time as well as a concern that it will damage their career prospects and finances.

Did your husband take paternity leave when your children were born? 

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