Friday, March 03, 2006

Do Men Change Diapers? - Old Notions Still Trump New Values

From Ash:

I just love these stats:

While 96 percent of Australian fathers surveyed believe that mothers and fathers should have equal responsibility in bringing up their children, about 75 percent think that mothers are better nurturers and are better suited to raising children. And half think that preschool children need their mothers more than their fathers.

Uh, so how does this work, exactly? If moms are better at raising kids, and the kids need moms more than dads, then what, exactly, is the "equal responsibility in child rearing" the parents are supposed to share?

My hunch is that the dads answered that fathers should have an equal share in the responsibility because they felt that was the answer they were supposed to say, whether or not they really believed it, or if it applied in their own lives. It just feels wrong to say, "No, parents shouldn't share in the responsibility of raising their children." But the other questions, which seemed more specific, and didn't seem to have a societally-expected "right answer" got answers that were closer to the men's real feelings and experiences.


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