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more, they are less likely than other kids to disobey teachers or make trouble at school and are less depressed or withdrawn.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 Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New 3-D model predicts best planting practices for farmers

26.06.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

New research reveals impact of seismic surveys on zooplankton

26.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Correct connections are crucial

26.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>