REPORT: Shockingly Few Men In Academia Take Paternity Leave
1:50 pm, February 22nd | by Amy Tennery
While academia may be among the most egalitarian environments for paternal/maternal leave, a new report shows that men aren’t taking paternity leave all that often — and the ones who do aren’t always contributing a whole lot on the homefront.
The University of Virginia and University of Connecticut study, which was published in Businessweek today, showed that just 12 percent of the men among “a sample of 181 married, heterosexual, tenure-track professors” with young children chose to take paternity leave. (Side note: according to the report, just around 69 percent of the women polled took maternity leave, which, holy crap, to the rest of that 31 percent, because your ladybits clearly have the regenerative capabilities of X-Men’s Wolverine. Anyway. Moving on.)
Of course, as we mentioned, the sample size was under 200, so it’s not the world’s most comprehensive study. Still, it presents a troubling trend for men and women both in and out of academia. If we can’t show that dudes are using paternity leave, it’ll be a lot tougher to keep it around. Which, in turn, will make it all the more difficult for women to transition back to work from the post-natal realm. (The report also notes that the men who did take paternity leave “performed significantly less child care relative to their spouses.” So… Thanks.)
Professors: Ruining paternity leave for the rest of us.