LOS ANGELES, CA - Did your dad take paternity leave when you were a newborn? Today, most American men take less than 2 weeks off when their child is born. The U.S. is the only developed country in the world that doesn't require paid family leave for men or women and it's less culturally acceptable for men to take advantage of an employer supplied benefit. In a new survey, 1/3 of men felt taking leave would "jeopardize their position" at work. More than half thought it would show a lack of commitment.
Academics and business leaders who support paternity leave explain why this stigma is bad for dads, moms, and their children.
According to sociologist Michael Kimmel, "the more egalitarian our relationships, the happier both partners are. The more gender equal companies are, the happier their workers." He noted that "young men, especially, have changed enormously. They want to have lives that are animated by terrific relationships with their children.”
Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg announced he'd take two months off after the birth of his daughter, writing that "Studies show that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, outcomes are better for the children and families."
It's clear that attitudes are slowly changing- along with policies. Someday, maybe paid family leave for both parents will be the norm.