Hunt for house hubbies
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.