Are Mothers and Fathers Interchangeable Caregivers?

June 17, 2020 | Published first in Marriage & Family Review

Recent debates about same-sex marriage have raised questions concerning the interchangeability of mothers and fathers. This paper provides three pieces of empirical evidence that highlight the distinct role that fathers and mothers play in the home. First, we use time-use data to show that fathers and mothers provide different amounts of time to their children regardless of who is the breadwinner in the household. Second, we show that men and women choose different occupations, with men more likely to choose occupations that have a protective role and mothers more likely to choose an occupation with a nurturing role. Third, we find that children are much less likely to experience domestic violence and neighborhood violence when there is a father in the home.

Read the full article at Taylor & Francis Online.

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