Pin the Blame on Daddy? The Precarious Future of Parental Leave

"...A collaborative study by a father and son team, Steven E. Rhoads (UVA) and Christopher Rhoads (UConn), argue that paternity leave allows men to jump the gender queue by giving them a chance to write while their wives actually take care of the babies. A brilliant scheme to maintain gender inequality, no? As reported last year in Bloomberg News, Team Rhoads argues that fathers of newborns would rather work than parent:

While 69 percent of the women in the sample took post-birth parental leave, only 12 percent of the men took advantage of the available leaveóeven though it was paid. They also learned that the male professors who did so performed significantly less child care relative to their spouses. Worse yet, they report that male tenure-track professors may be abusing paternity leave by using the time to complete research or publish papers, an activity that enhances their careers while putting their female colleagues at a disadvantage. One female participant quoted in the study put it this way: ďIf women and men are both granted parental leaves and women recover/nurse/do primary care and men do some care and finish articles, thereís a problem.Ē

The study recommends, therefore, that in the interests of gender equality universities restrict parental leaves to women. Download the unpublished paper here...."