Posted: 6:02 am Friday, June 16th, 2017
The experience of being a dad in America is changing in important and sometimes surprising ways. In honor of Father’s Day this Sunday, here are six new finds about fathers from Pew Research Center:
- Dads see parenting as central to their identity. Dads are just as likely as moms to say that parenting is extremely important to their identity. Some 57 percent of fathers say this, compared with 58 percent of mothers. Most dads seem to appreciate the benefits of parenthood — 54 percent report that parenting is rewarding all of the time, as do 52 percent of moms. Meanwhile, 46 percent of fathers and 41 percent of mothers say they find parenting enjoyable all of the time.
- Dads are much more involved in child care than they were 50 years ago.In 2015, fathers reported spending, on average, seven hours a week on child care — almost triple the time they provided back in 1965. And fathers put in about nine hours a week on household chores in 2015, up from four hours in 1965. By comparison, mothers spent an average of about 15 hours a week on child care and 18 hours a week on housework in 2015.
- It’s become less common for dads to be their family’s sole breadwinner. About a quarter of couples (27 percent) who live with children younger than 18 are in families where only the father works. This marks a dramatic change from 1970, when almost half of these couples (47 percent) were in families where only the dad worked. The share of couples living in dual-earner families has risen significantly, and now comprises the majority of two-parent families with children.
- Work-family balance is a challenge for many working fathers.Just like mothers, many of today’s fathers find it challenging to balance work and family life. About half of working dads (52 percent) say it is very or somewhat difficult to do so, a slightly smaller share than the 60 percent of working mothers who say the same. And about three-in-ten working dads (29 percent) say they “always feel rushed,” as do 37 percent of working mothers. Despite changing gender roles, many still perceive mothers as better equipped than fathers to care for children. When it comes to caring for a new baby, 53 percent of Americans say that, breast-feeding aside, mothers do a better job than fathers; only 1 percent of Americans say fathers do a better job than mothers. Another 45 percent say mothers and fathers do about equally well.
- Seven in 10 adults say it’s equally important for new babies to bond with their mother and their father. About one-fourth (27 percent) say it’s more important for new babies to bond with their moms, and 2 percent say it’s more important for new babies to bond with their fathers. Women are slightly more likely to say that it’s important for new babies to bond with both parents (74 percent vs. 68 percent of men).