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Fathers Day: Men still routinely shirking childcare

Fathers Day: Men Can Do It

The key reason men don't do more is because they don't actually want to. If they did, they would. They're using convenient excuses to get out of it

The 'growing trend' for men to take over childcare is a myth, official statistics show.

Ahead of Fathers Day on 16th June, a new book aims to explode the myth of the 'modern dad' doing his fair share of childcare, inside and outside of working hours.

- Men don't actually want to look after children, new book claims

- Shameful take-up of father's new right to share parental leave

- Only 6,000 more stay-at-home dads than a decade ago

- Tiny growth in number of fathers working part-time

- Women still do twice as much childcare on evenings and weekends

Tel. 020 3286 7584
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“The media and politicians' love for the new father is built upon a myth,” says father of two Gideon Burrows in a controversial new book on parenting and equality, Men Can Do It: The real reason dads don't do childcare.

“Despite claims to the contrary, men are not swapping work for childcare anywhere near as much as we think, nor are they doing significantly more childcare out of working hours.”

The proportion of men working part-time has barely changed in a decade, and men's own reported time doing childcare has increased by only the same extent as women's.

Only 1,600 fathers have taken up their new right to a share of 26 weeks of parental leave, in a period when 1.5 million babies have been born. (The new right began in April 2011.)

There are only 6,000 more full-time stay-at-home dads now than a decade ago, compared with 44,000 fewer full-time stay-at-home mums, the book's analysis of National Office for Statistics figures reveals.

Formal childcare and relatives are filling the gap, not fathers. Grandmothers are twice as likely to be looking after our children than their own dads.

Gideon Burrows concludes: “There are significant barriers in the way of men doing more childcare, in and out of working hours. But the key reason men don't do more is because they don't actually want to. If they did, they would. The rest offer convenient excuses, not insurmountable obstacles.”

The key reason men don't do more is because they don't actually want to. If they did, they would. They're using convenient excuses to get out of it

“Paternity leave legislation, traditional working patterns, social expectations, women's attitudes to men, and father-phobic maternity services all offer convenient excuses for men to avoid what they don't really want to do.”

To see the relevant data (for journalists' reference only) visit: Supporting data

In Men Can Do It: The real reason dads don't do childcare, the author explores: new fatherhood stereotypes, fathers and the media, role models, the politics of men and childcare, men-phobic antenatal and maternity, women's attitudes, sceptical mums at playgroups and pre-schools, employers and the world of work, paternity and flexible leave legislation, family finance and personal relationships.

Gideon Burrows is a writer and involved father. He has shared childcare equally with his wife since his first child was born in 2008.

Notes to editors:

Men Can Do It: The real reason dads don't do childcare is available in bookshops now.
(Official publication date 27th May 2013)

Click here for cover and author images

Price: GBP 7.99 (paperback), GBP 4.11 (ebook launch price)

Tel. 020 3286 7584
Moble. 07812 570 545
Email. mencandoit@ngomedia.org.uk

Publisher: ngo.media
Web. www.mencandoit.co.uk
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Twitter: @mencandoitbook