Stay-at-home dads: the verdict

Are stay-at-home dads ruining their sons' lives?

STAY-AT-HOME dads could be ruining their sons’ lives, according to a new survey, which claims young boys who are brought up predominantly by their fathers are less quick to learn when they first start school

However, the same survey finds girls raised by their fathers are just as successful in their early school years as those brought up by their mothers.

6,000 families were investigated for the study, which set out to discover what happens when traditional child-rearing roles are reversed.

‘We should not simply assume that children will be unaffected by the dismantling of traditional gender roles but consider their needs, as well as those of their parents,’ says Elizabeth Washbrook, of Bristol University.

‘I find robust evidence that boys – but not girls – who spent at least 15 hours a week in paternal care when they were toddlers performed worse on academic assessments when they started school.’

However, before mothers who have returned to work suffer yet another survey-induced pang of guilt, it should be noted the survey makes no mention of whether having a stay-at-home dad has any impact on a boy’s long-term prospects, nor how long it takes him to catch up on his early years.

To read Elizabeth Washbrook’s full report, click here.

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