Helping Millennial Dads Live Out Their Family Values, Egalitarian Ideals

Millennial’s Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig has a new article at TNR on millennial men, their egalitarian views of gender roles, the gap between these views and their daily lives, and what can be done to reduce this gap. She writes:

While millennial men have the most gender-egalitarian views of any generation to date, Miller explains, they often fail to live up to their non-traditional ideals when parenting because “workplace policies have not caught up to changing expectations at home.” Miller considers a study conducted by sociologists at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of California Santa Barbara, which found that “seemingly gender-traditional work-family decisions are largely contingent on the constraints of current workplaces.” In other words, millennial dads would prefer equal partnerships, but find themselves limited to more traditional parenting styles by the dearth of strong paternity leave policies in the United States….

If Nordic countries score high in gender equality and high in parental benefits for moms and dads, while still showing some gender gaps in leave-taking, then perhaps millennial dads aren’t doomed to give up their egalitarian ideals even if they elect not to take as much time off as moms post-baby. Parental leave for fathers is a good idea regardless of how individual families elect to portion out their leave, and fathers choosing to take less time off doesn’t seem to make the Nordic states any less egalitarian. The key to overall gender egalitarianism isn’t how individual families choose to take advantage of the policies offered to them, in other words, but that the policies are ensured by the government to begin with.

The full article can be read here.