Browsing Psychology by Author "Fischer, Jessica"
Stay at Home Fathers: the New Gender BendersFischer, Jessica (2010-09-22)This study compared the gender roles and attitudes toward women‟s and men‟s social roles of stay at home fathers and employed fathers recruited on the Internet. The relationship between gender roles and attitudes toward women‟s and men‟s social roles on reasons for becoming a stay at home father were also investigated. It was predicted that stay at home fathers would endorse more traditionally feminine characteristics for themselves and would have more nontraditional attitudes toward men‟s and women‟s social roles than employed fathers. In addition, it was predicted that fathers who choose to stay at home for practical reasons (i.e. lost job) would be more traditional in their gender role attitudes than fathers who choose to stay at home for other reasons (i.e. really wanted to care for the children). Although stay at home and employed fathers reported having similar feminine and masculine characteristics, stay at home fathers reported having less traditional gender role attitudes than employed fathers. Biosocial theory (Eagly & Wood, 1999) suggests that stay at home fathers may have less traditional attitudes about gender roles because the gender role they are acting out is a non-traditional role for men. Stay at home fathers reported that they really wanted to stay home with their children more than any other reason, whereas the least reported reason for choosing to stay home was having a child with special needs. Contrary to a prediction based on evolutionary psychology, stay at home and employed fathers also reported that their children resembled them to the same degree. The results of this study will contribute further information about a group of fathers that have been under-studied and may also provide helpful information to support groups for stay at home and employed fathers.