Father Care, Father Share in Comparative Perspective

Lyn Craig, University of New South Wales
Killian Mullan, University of New South Wales

Using harmonised data from the national time-use surveys of USA, Australia, Denmark, Italy and France, we draw on the records of both members of couple households (except in the USA) to compare by gender absolute and relative time parents spend in i) childcare as a main activity; ii) the activities that comprise childcare and iii) time caring for children in sole charge. Overall parental care time is highest in Australia and the USA, and lowest in France. In all the countries mothers spend more time caring for children than fathers, more of the childcare they do is routine and physical care, and they take much more sole responsibility for childcare. The gender gap in both amount and nature of care is smallest in Denmark, where policy and rhetoric explicitly aim to both support women’s workforce participation and involve fathers in childcare. Within other countries, households in which women work fulltime have similar outcomes on some measures.

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Presented in Session 138: Men's Roles in Families and Relationships