Loading articles...

Paternity leave still comes with social stigmas: survey

Last Updated Apr 23, 2019 at 9:30 am PDT

(iStock Photo)
Summary

Fathers face some persistent social stigmas and old-fashioned attitudes when they take paternity leave, survey finds

Almost a quarter of respondents appear to think fathers need less bonding time with children

Survey finds 73 per cent of men agree mothers and fathers should take equal parental leave

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Is paternity leave just an excuse for men to take a vacation?

A survey conducted by Dove Men+Care suggests fathers face some persistent social stigmas and old-fashioned attitudes when taking time away from work after the birth of a child.

The digital campaign focuses on actual online commentary, paraphrasing attitudes like “paternity leave is for wimps” or “bonding is for weekends” and asked people whether or not they agreed with them.

Thankfully most people seem to reject stigma statements, but it did find a fair percentage of respondents still buy into some of the more traditional views of masculinity and fatherhood.

Almost a quarter (24 per cent) of respondents appear to think fathers need less bonding time with children, believing it can be done on weekends.

One third (33 per cent) agree that dads are the ones who pay the bills to support their families.

Meantime, Unilever found almost three quarters (73 per cent) of men agree mothers and fathers should take equal parental leave and most men want to take time away from work after a birth.

But the reality is, according to the survey, that moms take an average eight times longer parental leave and a majority of dads-to-be are afraid taking time off will negatively impact their finances or their their relationships with their managers.

“With Canada’s new parental leave policies, we think it’s an important moment to encourage Canadians to take the time to change the conversation around parental leave,” says Leslie Golts, Marketing Lead at Unilever. “The results demonstrate that, while the image of fatherhood is evolving, there’s still a lot of work to do to make paternity leave stigmas a thing of the past.”