The Impact of Gender Role Ideology on Direct and Indirect Paternal Involvement: A Focus on Men Who Make the Transition to Parenthood

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 10:50 AM
Room: 315
Oral Presentation
Renske KEIZER , Sociology, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands
Using data from the first two waves of the Netherlands Kinship Panel Study, I examine to what extent men’s gender role attitudes explain men’s paternal involvement after the transition into parenthood. I extend previous work in two ways. First, I incorporate multiple dimensions of paternal involvement. Although father’s role of providing is highly important, there is scant research that directly addresses providing as a form of paternal involvement. Second, I aim to unravel issues of causality, by focusing on men’s gender role attitudes as predictor of paternal involvement before these men enter parenthood. In most studies, scholars use the simultaneous measurement of father’s views on parental roles and paternal involvement. As such, father’s experiences with paternal involvement may well have shaped their attitudes concerning parental roles rather than the other way around.                                                                                                                       

My results show that men with more modern gender role attitudes indeed spend more time on childcare tasks, also when controlled for relevant background characteristics such as educational attainment, work hours, religiosity, age, partner status, age and gender of the child. In contrast, gender role attitudes have no impact on changes in men’s work hours across the transition to parenthood nor on their level of income. This latter finding shows that men’s work schedule and their provision are unrelated to men’s gender role attitudes, suggesting that being a good provider is of importance to all men who become fathers, irrespectively of gender role attitudes.