Tuesday, May 10, 2016
There are multiple studies revealing that a vast majority of millennial men believe that equality in domestic tasks should be the norm. But those same studies reveal that the reality of millennial lives, particularly those who are parents, do not engage in equal child care or housekeeping. Those who study this phenomenon say that millennial men revert to "traditional" roles once they become fathers. Perhaps millennial mothers might view this as a reversion to oppression, not tradition.
Fathers who take time to care for, and bond with, their new children are more likely to understand their shared parenting responsibilities in a way that other fathers can not. Researchers conclude that a major barrier to active paternal parenting is the lack of sufficient leave policies with most businesses.
The most serious barrier to co-parenting, however, is not the lack of workplace policies. Even in companies that permit parental leave for both parents, fathers in heterosexual relationships more often refuse to take advantage of the leave. Why? Because their managers are not taking parenting leave. In order to engage millennial fathers in child care, they must be relieved of their fear of being adversely judged by other men in the workplace. This can most effectively happen when male senior employees take advantage of parental leave policies or encourage other men to do so.
Males in our culture are burdened with constant judging by other males on whether or not they are "real men". A shift to a culture that permits males to be themselves is not difficult to attain. Older, accomplished men can create change quickly simply by encouraging millennial men to make room for family.