Are Mothers and Fathers Interchangeable? Parental Gender and Child Flourishing

Catherine R. Pakaluk & Joseph Price (2020) Are Mothers and Fathers Interchangeable Caregivers?, Marriage & Family Review, DOI: 10.1080/01494929.2020.1778318

Posted: 7 Dec 2014 Last revised: 17 Jun 2020

See all articles by Catherine Pakaluk

Catherine Pakaluk

Catholic University of America - Busch School of Business and Economics

Joseph Price

Brigham Young University

Date Written: December 5, 2014

Abstract

We examine preliminary evidence on the interchangeability of parents. First, we present evidence of custody decisions and de facto living arrangements of children post-divorce that point to a robust norm in favor of children residing with mothers. Second, we provide some evidence based on time-use data which points to the fact that fathers and mothers have distinct parenting styles and this is particularly apparent in homes with single-earner families where the mother is the breadwinner. Third, we present and discuss some intriguing differences between men and women in occupational choice, propensity to commit violent crime, and protective roles in the household and neighborhood. These findings have relevance for questions related to division of labor within the household, especially as a growing number of dads report being “stay-at-home” fathers. They also affect large-scale national debates about whether children need a parent of each gender — such as in divorce law, and same-sex marriage laws.

Suggested Citation

Pakaluk, Catherine and Price, Joseph, Are Mothers and Fathers Interchangeable? Parental Gender and Child Flourishing (December 5, 2014). Catherine R. Pakaluk & Joseph Price (2020) Are Mothers and Fathers Interchangeable Caregivers?, Marriage & Family Review, DOI: 10.1080/01494929.2020.1778318, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2534594 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2534594

Catherine Pakaluk

Catholic University of America - Busch School of Business and Economics ( email )

309a McMahon Hall
Washington, DC 20064
United States
617-905-7500 (Phone)

Joseph Price (Contact Author)

Brigham Young University ( email )

130 FOB
Provo, UT 84604
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://economics.byu.edu/directory/joseph-p-price

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