How leave policies achieve Gender Equality & Sex Equity
Parental Leave Paradox = leave policies that give equal time for men & women ignore realities of childbirth — but — leave policies that give more time for women may discriminate against women by reinforcing gendered nurturer assumptions & against men by implicitly assuming their role as a parent is less valuable.
New parents get equal leave time (maternity & paternity leave) to bond with their newborn, & the gestational parent receives an additional 6–8 weeks to recover from childbirth via disability leave (EEOC, 2015; Kaufman & Petts, 2020; Widiss, 2021).
Thus, gender-modified leave policies
(1) promote gender equality & deconstruct binary assumptions of patriarchal norms 🌈
(2) acknowledge sex differences by providing the gestational parent 6–8 weeks of disability leave to recover from childbirth 🤰🏻
‘Leave policies can be structured to give mothers longer leave because she physically gave birth (sex difference) but NOT on the basis of more bonding time (gender discrimination).’
Giving women more leave time on the basis of bonding would only serve to reinforce patriarchal gender stereotypes of women as nurturers (Cejka & Eagly, 1999; Eagly & Wood, 1999; Ridgeway & Correll, 2004) & men as innately inept nurturers.
Indeed, these sexist notions of women affect men too. Consider portrayals of men in popular media: “Irrespective of whether we find the tv representations of ‘bumbling, bungling single dads’ entertaining, endearing or troubling (Williams 2012; Smith 2015), these men appear to be judged differently than their maternal counterparts.”
The Nature of Leave
We’re moving into an economic age where productivity will depend more on your brain than your brawn. Well, which sex evolved over human evolution primarily using their brain power and less their brawn? The XX
The Nurture of Leave
In this 4th revolution, women may excel relative to men as a consequence of traditional models of gender socialization.
Women out-earn their husbands 22.1% of the time (Murray-Close & Heggeness, 2018) Women earn 57.3% of bachelor’s degrees, 60.1% of master’s degrees, & 53.5% of doctoral degrees (National Center For Edu Statistics, 2019) via Kristina Durante & @haselton et al., 2022.
Taken together, new economies will favor those who were gatherers over those who were hunters, and will favor the mechanisms of female childhood socialization relative to male childhood socialization. As such, companies & countries should consider the possibility that they may want this thing called maternity leave following childbirth.
90 out of 187 countries offer statutory paid paternity leave. In OECD countries, men’s use of parental leave is increasing overall but remains fairly minimal. Overall, less than half of fathers take advantage of all the leave benefits offered to them.
Companies are also offering “parental bonding leave” and “secondary caregiver leave” for LGBTQ+ and adoptive parents, recognizing the tremendous benefits to individuals and families. But, as with paternity leave, the number of people taking these benefits is still small.
Parental Socialization of Emotion
Fabes and Martin (1991) asserted that fathers hold to gender stereotypes and gender norms more so than mothers (e.g., it is acceptable for girls to express sadness but not anger, whereas boys can express anger but not sadness). “Girls are socialized to express and discuss their emotions while boys are socialized to “hold in,” mask, dismiss, or suppress their emotions (Chaplin et al., 2005; Cunningham et al., 2009)”
Cassano et al. (2007) found that fathers minimized or dismissed their children’s expressions of sadness more than did mothers; mothers and fathers accepted and encouraged the expression of sadness more with daughters than sons.”
Zahn-Waxler et al. (2000): “parents encouraged daughters’ suppression of anger-related emotions and encouraged sons to inhibit sad or fearful emotional responses”
the available molecular genetic evidence suggests that our ancestors likely practiced female exogamy (Seielstad, Minch & Cavalli-Sforza, 1998).
When girls reached puberty, they left their natal groups to marry into neighbouring groups to avoid inbreeding, while boys stayed in their natal groups their entire lives. So all men in a hunter–gatherer band were genetically related whereas women were not (Geary et al., 2003).
The Data On Women’s Prowess (Brains > Brawn)
Girls’ reading ability is superior to boys in every OECD country/society (Margriet van Hek et al., 2019; Stoet and Geary, 2013; OECD 2015)
…a trend known for decades (Stroud & Lindquist, 1942).
Women obtain considerably more education than men in the vast majority of industrialized countries (DiPrete and Buchmann, 2013; Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (hereafter OECD), 2015; Van Hek, Kraaykamp, Wolbers, 2016).
“By the time students reach Grade 12 there are over 2.54 times as many girls than boys that attain the advanced standard of writing proficiency.”
(Additional Data via: PiSA 2018 — OECD — Andreas Schleicher, 2018)
“The rigidity of sex roles may translate into decreased reading interest & motivation for some boys if there is a perceived incompatibility between reading and masculine norms (Marinak & Gambrell, 2010; Moffitt & Wartella, 1991; Mucherah & Yoder, 2008).”
Less motivation = less practice.
“Assume direct quotes” — ‘Assume paraphrased quotes from the same source’
Creswell (2007): ‘quotations from interviewees serve to illustrate the results and give voice to the participants in the research.’
Cotar et al. (2008)/ Meacham & Getty (2017): Women may prefer less fit males to the degree that they’re assumed to provide better parental care & will remain committed to the pair bond. Given that males of lower quality have fewer opportunities to have an affair, they’ll be loyal by default.
We Need Paternity Leave Too
Portrayals of Fathers in Media — Rebecca Feasey, 2021
In media, fathers are “stereotyped as unknowledgeable & irresponsible” (Turchi & Bernabo, 2020, p. 447).
‘The qualifications for good fatherhood are lower than those for motherhood’ (Feasey, 2008, 32–44; Feasey, 2012, 2021).
“Irrespective of whether we find the representations of ‘bumbling, bungling single dads’ entertaining, endearing or troubling (Williams, 2012; Smith, 2015), these men appear to be judged differently than their maternal counterparts.
Jennifer Turchi and Laurena Bernabo note that representations of families on the small screen ‘implicitly provide lessons about how families ought to behave’ (Turchi & Bernabo, 2020).
They note that “successful family series of the past decade more accurately reflect broader demographic populations of families: 35% are single-parent households, of which 52% are mother-led, 26% are father-led, and 22% share custody’ (Turchi & Bernabo, 2020).”
Despite what older sitcoms would have you believe, “the economically stable nuclear family unit with a breadwinning father and a satisfied stay-at-home wife and mother has only ever represented ‘a certain population, and only for a very restricted period that is now long past. It was never, in fact, traditional’ (Kinser 2010, 26).”
Gender socialization → “This research builds on a previous study that discovered that ‘single fathers were twice as likely to report poor self-rated health and mental health as single mothers, but were only half as likely to access health services’ (Chiu et al., 2018, 115).”
Andrea Doucet (2002): “Images of ‘the hapless, incompetent father’ were rampant on television and caretaker fathers felt so outnumbered by mothers that they avoided playgroups”
In 2017, 27.1% of all U.S. children under the age of 18 were being raised in single-parent households, and of this group the percent being raised by single fathers was 16.1% — no rival to the number of single mothers, but nonetheless a significant increase over the 12.5% figure of single fathers raising children in 2007 (U.S. Census).
The U.S. has lagged in implementing the sort of structural social changes that Johansson and Andreasson stress as so central to encouraging egalitarian parenting in the Nordic countries (2017). In the U.S., tensions for fathers between the traditional role of breadwinner and the emerging role of caregiver are exacerbated by a patchwork of parental leave structures that often eliminate pay, forcing a choice between the roles (Miller, 2019).
Studies show that most men take shorter leaves from work than do women, even in companies with gender-neutral paid leave (Lenhart et al., 2019).
Cultural Representations of Fatherhood — Rachel M. Schmitz, 2016
Messages surrounding fatherhood are “strongly linked to how fathers’ involvement could benefit mothers (Milkie & Denny, 2014). From these media analyses, men are often cast as expendable and secondary in the child-rearing endeavor, an image that then serves to demean a man’s value as a parent. Furthermore, parenting advice and help literature (i.e., medical brochures, pregnancy guidebooks) often depict fathers as incompetent and secondary to mothers concerning child care responsibilities (Sunderland, 2000). In a study analyzing portrayals of fatherhood in a family-oriented Canadian newspaper, Wall & Arnold (2007) found evidence of cultural lag, in that expectations of so-called “involved fathering” are not supported in media that presents fathers as detached from parenting and more closely connects them to breadwinning in comparison with mothers…
Fathers are cast in a negative light through portrayals of being clumsy and foolish (Pehlke et al., 2009).
Manifestations of hegemonic masculinity include cultural representations that illustrate the ideal worker as detached from emotional and family responsibilities, which is especially problematic for fathers who struggle to balance work and home life (Hill, Hawkins, Märtinson, & Ferris, 2003). Generally, the family works to reproduce heterosexual hegemonic masculinity by its cultural heteronormative definition that underscores the heterosexual (husband/wife) model as the gold standard of what it means to be a family (Smith, 1993). Similarly, the motherhood mystique argues that women are the ideal caregivers of children and are fulfilled by child rearing (Ussher, 2011), which calls on the notion of emphasized femininities as a support structure for hegemonic masculinity (Connell, 1987). This model can place severe limitations on how men engage with fatherhood if the hegemonic standard for men’s child-rearing roles is restricted to breadwinner and does not include involved nurturer (Donaldson, 1993).”
Influence of Media on Custody Court Rulings
Prior research finds that family court judges, whose decisions have historically been based on “what is best for the child” (Warshak, 1986), often grant sole custody to mothers, presuming that mothers physically and emotionally care for their children more and better than fathers (Artis, 2004). Judges therefore rely on cultural assumptions of mothers as better caregivers. Gerbner and Gross (1976) argue that the experiences presented on television are not necessarily social reality, but rather [that media cultivates] the cultural assumptions reified through those presentations. We therefore conclude that those responsible for making and enforcing policies, including judges, are not immune to TV representations that reinforce the status quo;
television’s representations of fathers as “bumbling idiots” (Schmitz, 2016)
can have serious ramifications for single fathers, challenging their legitimacy as parents.
Second, television representations likely impact fathers’ perceptions about their own parenting skills (Brownson & Gilbert, 2002). As fathers internalize their mediated representations (Scharrer, 2001), they internalize the cultural messages about single fathers’ ability to parent and perhaps feel incompetent.
Dad Bod — Ulrika Widding, 2021
“Today, the term DILF (Dad I’d Like to Fornicate with) not only includes the fit and muscular father but also the chubby ‘Dad bod’, and the idea that a self-respecting man prioritizes taking care of his children ahead of going to the gym (Smith 2018).
In this sense the ‘involved father/daddy’ has become (hetero)sexualized and regarded as a desirable type of masculinity.
Yet, Steinour (2018) has pointed out that prevailing discourses make it hard for men to incorporate caregiving into their identity and that such discourses are not only expressed at a societal level but are also taken up by their children’s mothers and women in their families and circle of friends. Friedman (2016) also reports how involved fathers have been regarded as strange and have been ridiculed.
Wall and Arnold (2007) conclude that men are still seen as part-time/ secondary parents.”
Same-sex female couples could experience identical leave time if both women gave birth around the same time. In general, only one woman will acquire biological parenthood while the other woman contributes in her role as a provider.
Towards a Romantic New Deal
Gillian Parker et al., 2022
“Women’s professional ascendance has created mismatches between women’s evolved preferences and modern marriage. Although women’s professional success has helped emancipate them politically and economically from men, it also makes women and men less interdependent, changing the benefits of marriage and the costs of dissolution. This perspective leads to new research questions.”
…and it’s why we need a Romantic New Deal
Divorce Risk Based on Wives Status
— Women out-earn their husbands 22.1% of the time (Murray-Close & Heggeness, 2018).
— Women who win major political elections are 2x as likely to divorce than women who lose, women hired as CEOs are more likely to divorce than men hired as CEOs (Folke & Rickne, 2020), & women who win an Oscar for best actress are more likely to divorce than women who are nominated but lose & female actresses who aren’t nominated at all (Colleen Stuart et al., 2011).
When males make large donations to attractive female fundraisers, other males respond by making an even bigger one.
That’s how much he cares 🎗 #ItsForTheKids
Men are very altruistic, especially with attractive women (Bhogal et al., 2016; (Schwarz & Babfeld, 2019; Wilson, 1978).
Thus, charities with attractive spokeswomen will have more success bc men will give them more money (Iredale et al., 2008).
Sexuality & Personality (The Big 5 Traits)
The XX is more conscientious than the Xy (Schmitt et al., 2008).
Lippa et al. (2005) & Zheng et al. (2011)
Gay men are more conscientious/ expressive / open to experience/ agreeable/ and neurotic than straight men & lesbians are less neurotic and more open to experience than straight women.
Straight women described their boyfriends as being less open to experience than lesbians described their girlfriends.
Consistent with parental investment theory, heterosexual women showed highest demands, followed by non-heterosexual women and non-heterosexual men, who had higher demands than heterosexual men. However, actual partners did not reach the ideal standards in any of the groups.
Straight women described their boyfriends as higher on Emotional Stability than all the other groups whereas straight men described their girlfriends as the lowest on Emotional Stability.
Women are more likely to report a bisexual than an exclusively same-sex orientation whereas men show the opposite pattern (Bailey et al., 2016).
Bisexual women reported lower levels of conscientiousness than lesbians & straight women.
Bisexuals scored higher on openness to experience than anyone else regardless of sex or sexuality.
Women are more likely than men to react to threatening situations by expanding their personal space (Aiello, 1987).
“Widowed parents are slightly more likely to re-partner than their separated or divorced paternal counterparts (Robinson 2019).”
‘About 2% of single moms are widowers compared to 11% of single dads. As such,’ the average age of a single father is higher than the average age of a single mother (Rabindrakumar, 2018).
Recent government figures tell us that while Asian families have the lowest number of single parent households (8.8%), White and Other families rise to 10.2 and 10.5%, respectively. The numbers increase again for both Mixed and Black households at 19.1 and 24.3% (GOV.UK 2019).”
Ayla Deniz, 2020 (Geographies of Intimacy)
“I used Tinder myself in order to reach the participants. I created male and female accounts and I added the details of my research and the participant invitation letter in my profile… The male users I was matched with did not believe that I wanted to meet them only for research purposes. Even when they agreed to meet, I did not receive the sincere answers I expected because they were trying to go on a date with me. Therefore, I decided to focus only on female Tinder users.”
“Solis and Wong (2018) state that the risk of being exposed to friends, professional networks and society affects how people use the dating apps” & women are more likely to use false locations
Virtual environment leads to fast consumed relationships (Chambers 2013). Women often decide on the future of the relationship after the very first meeting.
Men are likely to have symbols of wealth on their profiles (e.g., cars, expensive watches, photos from different countries, etc.) as they affect women’s preferences.
“Female users give little information about themselves and mention almost no professional or educational information which would make it easier to track them down. “
“When the app is used for regular relationships, women tend to choose partners who are similar to them and who are deemed more suitable by their families and the society. “
“While married women use photos which do not clearly show their faces in order not to encounter someone they know, young, single or divorced women often prefer close-up photos. Many participants emphasized that the divorced women are preferred the most. This explains why many women write ‘divorced’ instead of ‘single’ or ‘married’ in their personal information sections.
If the men they like do not have social media accounts that can verify their identity or if they do not wish to share these accounts, then women do not meet them. For this reason, many male users already have information regarding their social media accounts on their personal information section which is not the case for female profiles.”
The first woman appears in Genesis 1:26–27.
“So God created mankind in the divine image, male & female God created them”
→ God creates woman & man simultaneously.
The second woman of Creation is found in Genesis 2:21–23.
God creates Adam, then places him in the Garden of Eden. Not long afterwards, God decides to make a companion for Adam. God puts Adam into a deep sleep & while Adam is sleeping God takes one of his ribs (ouchies 😥) & creates Eve.
4:25 = Eve names her third child Seth
5:3 = Adam names their third child Seth
Adam & Eve had Seth at age 130. Given that Adam lived to be 930 & never had a third wife, all future children can be assumed to be Eve’s offspring too. Somewhere between age 130 & 930 she hooked up with Adam & had more kids.
Let’s not forget that Lilith broke up with Adam before they even reached chapter 2. The first divorce occurred before the first sin. #ThankYouNext
Bilingual first language (BLF) — simultaneous acquisition of two languages from birth (De Houwer, 2009) (e.g., acquisition of heritage language & secondary strong language of one or both parents).
Sonia Wilson (2021) In many cases, mothers rather than fathers tend to give up full-time employment in order to provide childcare (Lyon, 1996; Okita, 2002)… reflecting the traditional role of mothers as primary caregivers (Tannen, 2003).
Mejía (2016) demonstrated that Spanish-speaking mothers were determined to make their children bilingual in spite of living with English-speaking husbands in an English-speaking country. OPAL = One-Parent One-Language (Suzanne Barron-Hauwaert, 2004).
Mothers often bear the responsibility of transmitting the minority language, with little or no support from the wider society (Okita, 2002; Smith-Christmas, 2016; Takeuchi, 2008; Yates & Terraschke, 2013).
Okita’s (2002) notable work on Japanese-English intermarried couples in the UK gives an authentic insight into the difficult and ‘invisible work’ of mothers trying to raise their children bilingually.
Clyne (1991): women tend to maintain ethnic language more than men in some cultures due to their role in maintaining family values and cultural practices in the home rather than pursuing employment.
Malik (2009): women have to maintain their cultural traditions, norms and beliefs in their families, while men are supposed to maintain intercultural contact.
Only children appear better linguistically (a non-significant trend), with less passive bilinguals. — We see more trilinguals as 1st children, as one advantage of siblings is that they can increase the usage of a minority language. (Barron-Hauwaert, 2004).
Accumulated Abuse #VAWA
‘Domestic violence is another context in which some state laws tolerate a physical self-defense response to emotional abuse in the absence of immediacy.
Within Battered Women’s Syndrome, a survivor uses physical force in reaction to **accumulated abuse** even when the abuser presents no immediate threat of physical violence.’
“The prototypical case occurs when a victim of sustained emotional and physical abuse kills the abuser in his sleep. Traditional criminal law would consider such an act murder. However, due to the advancement of psychology and the rise of expert testimony, a minority of states allow an instruction for selfdefense and/or duress under these circumstances.”
‘If the the battered woman feels powerless to prevent future emotional abuse & simultaneously feels trapped in the relationship, defensive force is permissible “irrespective of the presence of an actual immediate threat” (e.g., doing it while he’s asleep).’
Sanders, K. J. (2018). Defending the Spirit: The Right to Self-Defense Against Psychological Assault. Nev. LJ, 19, 227