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more, they are less likely than other kids to disobey teachers or make trouble at school and are less depressed or withdrawn.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 Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht Internet use in class tied to lower test scores
16.12.2016 | Michigan State University

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>