Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

When Dads Clean House, It Pays Off Big Time

11.06.2003


UC Riverside Sociologists Say Men Likely to Have Better Behaved Children and Wives Who Find Them More Sexually Attractive

Dads deserve a day off on Sunday, June 15. But on every other day they should know that when they do housework with their children, their kids turn out to be better adjusted and more socially aware. And, their wives find them more attractive.

Sociologists Scott Coltrane and Michele Adams of the University of California, Riverside, looked at national survey data and found that school-aged children who do housework with their fathers are more likely to get along with their peers and have more friends. What’s more, they are less likely than other kids to disobey teachers or make trouble at school and are less depressed or withdrawn.



“When men perform domestic service for others, it teaches children cooperation and democratic family values,” said Coltrane, who studies the changing role of fathers in families. “It used to be that men assumed that their wives would do all the housework and parenting, but now that women are nearly equal participants in the labor force, men are assuming more of the tasks that it takes to run a home and raise children.”

According to research conducted in the “love labs” of Dr. John Gottman at the University of Washington, when men contribute more domestic labor, their wives may be more likely to get “in the mood.” Coltrane said wives may be less stressed over balancing work and home. In addition, Coltrane, Gottman, and other social scientists report that wives interpret husbands’ domestic contributions as a sign of love and caring and are therefore more sexually attracted to their mates. Although there is more negotiation over who does what in such families, it appears that their relationships actually improve.

Coltrane and Adams examined data from the Child Development Supplement of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, a national sample of 3,563 children and their parents. According to their research, fathers still do less than mothers, but they are increasingly likely to assume at least some responsibility for tasks like shopping and driving the kids to school.

Although most American men still remain helpers to their wives, they are doing a larger share of routine duties associated with raising a family, like cooking and cleaning up. Not only are they more likely to do more of the everyday domestic work in households, but also they are more likely to hug their children and tell them they love them than in previous decades. In short, say researchers, at least some fathers are beginning to look more like mothers.

Among the other findings uncovered in the survey, the average father spends about three hours interacting with his school-aged children per weekend day, up significantly from estimates in earlier decades. At the same time, father’s interactions with their children remain shaped by older expectations about what men and women should do. For example, fathers spend about four times as much time doing sports with children as mothers and spend more time in play or leisure with children than doing housework with them.

In earlier work, Coltrane and Adams reported that men who focus child time on traditional masculine activities like sports are less likely than other fathers to share in the housework or to help their children with school work.

“One of the keys to successful sharing of tasks between husbands and wives is a belief in gender equity” said Coltrane, who pointed out that men and women who believe that fathers should be involved are the most likely to share all sorts of family work. |

Coltrane and Adams’ analysis of national survey data suggests that when children do housework with their fathers, they show even more positive behaviors than the same work with their mothers.

“Because fewer men do housework than women,” said Adams, “when they share the work, it has more impact on children. By performing domestic service with their children, fathers model cooperative family partnerships.” According to Coltrane and Adams, when kids observe fathers doing housework, it prepares them to share family work with their future spouses.

Looking forward to Fathers Day in the year 2050, more fathers can expect a gift of dinner out or breakfast in bed, thereby relieving them of their fatherly obligations for a day.


A note on the research:
Survey data are from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), Child Development Supplement and reflect a national random sample of U.S. individuals and families. The PSID is conducted at the Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan and is sponsored by various government agencies, foundations, and other organizations. The Child Development Supplement, collected in 1997 on a national sample of 3,563 children and their parents was supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) with additional funding from the William T. Grant Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Department of Education.

Scott Coltrane, Professor of Sociology. Coltrane has written extensively on family dynamics and gender roles. He is the author of Family Man: Fatherhood, Housework and Gender Equity, (Oxford University Press, 1996), named one of the American Library Association’s CHOICE Outstanding Academic Books. He is also author of Gender and Families (1998), Sociology of Marriage and the Family (2001), and Families and Society (2003).

Title: Chair, Department of Sociology and Associate Director of the Center for Family Studies
Office Telephone: (909) 787-3501
E-mail: scott.coltrane@ucr.edu


Michele Adams, Research Associate. Adams has written about marriage, parenting, and gender equality. She is the author (with Coltrane) of Boys and Men in Families: The Domestic Production of Gender, Power and Privilege, in R. W. Connell, J. Hearn, and M. Kimmel (Eds.), The Handbook of Studies on Men and Masculinities. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage (in press); Work-Family Imagery and Gender Stereotypes: Television and the Reproduction of Difference. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 50, 323-347 (1977); and Men’s Family Work: Child-Centered Fathering and the Sharing of Domestic Labor, pp. 72-99, in Working Families: The Transformation of the American Home, in Rosanna Hertz and Nancy Marshall (eds.). University of California Press (2001). Adams will be an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Tulane University in August 2003.

Title: Research Associate
Office Telephone: (909) 787-5444
E-mail: madams@citrus.ucr.edu

Kris Lovekin | UC - Riverside
Further information:
http://www.newsroom.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/display.cgi?id=611

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Geographers provide new insight into commuter megaregions of the US
01.12.2016 | Dartmouth College

nachricht Sustainable Development Goals lead to lower population growth
30.11.2016 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>