Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The New Model: Men and women share roles

By Kip Mooney
Blog Editor
Based on an article appearing in the Boston Globe

The days of traditional gender roles are long gone.

Now more than ever, couples are sharing the roles of working and childcare. And, according to a new study published by the Family and Work Institute, 60 percent of both men and women reject the "male breadwinner is best" model.

While the officials behind the study found the results surprising, this trend is not completely out of the blue.

Over the last 30 years, both men and women have increasingly dropped this ideal. Not just the current generation of working-class, but older generations as well. A little over half of workers 63-plus still find the man as sole provider role best.

Now, more women than ever before are returning to work after having a child. Increased flexibility from their spouses and employers have afforded them this option.

"I don't think that having a child should stop me from advancing in my career," Boston resident Stacey Hurley, assistant manager of Isis Maternity. "There's lot of ways to work around that." Hurley and her husband Ryan, a physical therapist split the chores and care of their 2-year-old daughter.

The couple are taking turns pursuing post-college education and careers. Ryan just finished his doctorate and Stacey plans to return to school to get her master's--something she put on hold in wake of the baby.

But this new model of sharing roles might become the new standard, and experts say it can be better for everyone.

"When you get couples to support each other, the sky's the limit to what they can achieve," Jessica DeGroot, of non-profit group Third Path Institute, said. These couples "can watch each other's backs to help each other create their preferred balanced approach to life."

Read the full article here.

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