Hunt for house hub­bies

Townsville Bulletin - - The Goss -

DO­MES­TIC BLISS: Stay-at-home dads are be­ing sought for a study into whether

re­vers­ing tra­di­tional roles in the home af­fects per­cep­tions of mas­culin­ity

AUS­TRALIA’S stay-at-home dads are sought for a study on whether the switch in tra­di­tional roles has any ef­fect on per­cep­tions of mas­culin­ity.

The re­search, con­ducted by the Univer­sity of West­ern Syd­ney, will also look for ev­i­dence of men buck­ing what ap­peared to be an al­most uni­ver­sal trend – that women do more house work.

‘‘ Do­mes­tic labour stud­ies con­ducted all over the world con­sis­tently in­di­cate that re­gard­less of ed­u­ca­tion level or time spent in paid em­ploy­ment, women do a greater amount of house­work t h a n m e n , ’ ’ s a i d D e b o r a h Wil­more, a PhD can­di­date from the univer­sity’s School of So­cial Sci­ences.

This was par­tic­u­larly the case in ‘‘ het­ero­sex­ual mar­ried re­la­tion­ships’’, she said.

Ms Wil­more said it was thought the tra­di­tional divi­sion of labour within a cou­ple was linked to the ‘‘ strong as­so­ci­a­tion of the home with fem­i­nin­ity and paid work with mas­culin­ity’’.

And so to chal­lenge who did what was ‘‘ tan­ta­mount to chal­leng­ing what it is to be a woman or a man’’. De­spite this, there was ev­i­dence the num­ber of re­verse­d­role fam­i­lies in Aus­tralia was ris­ing and this many in­di­cate ‘‘ not only chang­ing ideas about the home but also about mas­culin­ity’’.

It was time to ex­am­ine whether this had ram­i­fi­ca­tions for men and how they viewed do­mes­tic work, fa­ther­hood and, ul­ti­mately, their iden­tity, she said.

‘‘ Men who are at home for the ma­jor­ity of a work­ing week present an ex­cel­lent av­enue in which to ex­plore how gen­der re­la­tions may be chang­ing,’’ Ms Wil­more said.

The re­search pro­ject needs men who are aged 18 years or older, are het­ero­sex­ual and are cur­rently mar­ried or liv­ing in a de-facto re­la­tion­ship.

T h e y c a n b e a c u r r e n t house­maker or have done so within the past five years.

They must have sole re­spon­si­bil­ity for the run­ning of their house­hold and any chil­dren for a min­i­mum of 25 hours a week in­clud­ing busi­ness hours.

The study can also take in house­holds where the man is the pri­mary house­maker but there are no chil­dren.

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