Men Apparently Opt for Paternity Leave More Often When Their Child Is This Gender

Men Apparently Opt for Paternity Leave More Often When Their Child Is This Gender


Dec 4, 2015

The increasing number of companies amping up their paternal leave policies has been an effective domino effect, shifting the standards of parenthood to an equal responsibility between mothers and fathers.

While studies show that dual leave-sharing in a household are highly beneficial for a family, a recent study revealed that men are more inclined to take paternal leave if their child is male.

Quart reported that "the effect of the new policy was 50 percent larger for fathers of sons, compared to fathers of daughters."

The study further revealed that "when the sample is limited to fathers married to employed mothers, these gender effects become even stronger — fathers of girls do not respond to the policy at all."

As if that's not discouraging enough, new leave policies reportedly increased by 58 percent if the infant is male, but not even remotely so if the infant is female.

The researchers of the study based out of the University of California Santa Barbara suggest a few explanations for these deviations.

"First, it may be that fathers get more utility from spending time with their sons then daughters," says lead researcher of the study, Maya Rossin-Slater.

Slater went on to say that another reason may be "that the parents perceive that paternal time spent caring for boys is relatively more productive than time caring for girls."

Hopefully this data doesn't translate into a full-blown trend.

Fortunately though notable new fathers like Mark Zuckerberg are taking a stand, as he announced his company's plans to extend their paternal leave policy regardless of their child’s gender. 

NEXT: 3 Companies You've (Probably) Never Heard of With Awesome Parental Leave Policies

Related Stories:
• Daily Five: Encouraging Fathers to Take Paternity Leave
• These 5 Companies Are Killing It With Their New Parental Leave Policies

Photo Credit: Tetra Images/Jessica Peterson via Getty Images

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