Stay At Home Dads on The Decline in The UK
The latest government statistics in the UK show that the number of stay-at-home dads is decreasing. This is a reversal of a trend in which the number of stay at home dads actually rose. From 1993 to 2014, the number of men who stayed at home rose. However, that number began to decline over the last three years.
What’s the reason behind the trend reversal? Sir Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology says that the decrease may be due to the fact that the novelty of staying home is now wearing off.
“I think what’s ended up happening is that they feel like society doesn’t reward that and doesn’t give them high status. Men feel that they are only valued for their work role,” he told the Telegraph.
In the UK there are currently 232,000 men who opt out of the workplace. This figure is reduced from 241,000 at this time last year. Men aged 16-64 were more likely to be out of work because they were retired, studying or long-term sick.
Stay at home fathers were around 4 percent of the heterosexual families in Australia. In America, a report from Pew Research found that 2 million U.S. fathers with children were not working outside the home. But half of Americans (51%) think that a child is better off with a mother at home, as opposed to working. And just 8% say a child is better off with a stay-at-home father, according to Pew Research.
There are no statistics for stay at home dads in India. As definitions of work, and family change, we need to encourage men to take on different roles. It is imperative for them to take child-rearing responsibilities seriously. If society starts treating child rearing as a real job, and puts in place systems to make it easier for caregivers to look after their children, then we can together decrease the stigma against stay at home dads.