Pew Research: Both Men and Women Still Prefer Men as Breadwinners

September 29, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Still more information, this time from Pew Research, tells us that, despite the constant exhortations of gender warriors for almost 50 years, men and women still prefer traditional gender roles to those on offer in our Brave New World.

Researchers Kim Parker and Renee Stepler examined the attitudes of almost 5,000 adults regarding the importance they place on earning for men and women in a family. Specifically, is being able to support a family an important attribute for being a good partner? Unsurprisingly, both men and women voted strongly in favor of that for men and much less so for women. And, as we know, each sex acts on the values they expressed to the researchers. That is, men earn more than do women.

In 69% of couples, the man is the primary earner versus 31% in which the woman earns as much (3%) or more (28%) than the man. Of course the trend lines of male and female earnings are converging since 1980. That’s what we’d expect given women’s greater education than men’s. The number of female enrollees in college has outstripped the number of males since 1982, so it’s no surprise that the earnings of women generally have increased.

And, also as I’ve said before, people’s attitudes reflect their resistance to the gender feminist claim that women desire nothing more than to toil alongside men in the corporate vineyards. In fact, the opposite is true. Much of women’s increased work time and earnings is more a result of the need for the money than women’s preference for paid work.

Roughly seven-in-ten adults (71%) say it is very important for a man to be able to support a family financially to be a good husband or partner. By comparison, 32% say it’s very important for a woman to do the same to be a good wife or partner, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

Now, those are across-the-board figures. The lower we go on the educational scale, the more important both men and women view women’s earnings. That too, is no surprise. After all, lower education tends to mean lower earnings that in turn increase the necessity for both partners to work and earn.

Adults with lower incomes and less education are more likely to place a high value on a spouse or partner’s ability to provide for a family – whether that spouse is a man or a woman. Roughly eight-in-ten adults ages 25 and older (81%) with no education beyond high school say that, for a man to be a good husband or partner, being able to support a family financially is very important. Among those with some college experience 72% say this, and the share is smaller still among those with a four-year college degree (62%).

The pattern is similar when it comes to a woman being a good wife or partner. Four-in-ten high school graduates say being able to financially support a family is very important, compared with 29% of those with some college and 25% of those with a bachelor’s degree or higher.

So even on the lower end of the earnings and educational scales, men and women agree that it’s more important for a man to earn well than for a woman to do so. But for them, a woman’s financial contribution to the family is still more important than for those at the higher end of those scales. In short, it appears that, but for frank necessity, lower earners would think much as the higher earners now do.

The data compiled by Pew is news, but it’s not new. Indeed, it’s more of the same. And it has serious implications for public policy, or at least it should. For example, child support guidelines and alimony laws are all based on the gender feminist claim that women who divorce their husbands should continue being paid by him because, according to the feminist narrative, were it not for the demands placed on mothers/wives by husbands to care for children, they’d have been out in the corporate rat race joyfully pulling their weight.

That narrative is now and always has been so much nonsense. As countless studies and sets of data demonstrate, women tend strongly to prefer childcare to paid work outside the home. That of course is only to be expected, given the biochemical attachment formed by women to their children during pregnancy and after birth. That’s been a requirement for the survival of the species, even as it’s a requirement for every social mammal on the planet. So to expect human females to behave differently is a fool’s errand.

Given that women place a greater premium on lower earning and greater time spent with their children, public policy should treat that for what it is – women’s free choice, paid for by their male partners. As such, child support, that’s as much Mom support as anything, should be reformed. It should be reduced to reflect what it actually takes to support a child as well as the amount of time spent by Dad caring for the child post-divorce.

Alimony is even more obvious. If a woman elects to earn less because that’s her preference, fine. But public policy shouldn’t demand that her ex-husband continue supporting her preference even after she’s left him.

As a German former feminist said at the National Parents Organization’s conference on shared parenting back in May, feminists long ago abandoned the idea that men should be allowed to do equal childcare in exchange for women’s doing equal earning. Instead, they opted for continued transfers of wealth from men to women long after divorce.

As much information demonstrates, women earn less because they value earning less than do men. Again, I make no objection to their choices. But we should not lose sight of the fact that that’s exactly what they are – choices. They’re choices that data like Pew Research’s never stop revealing. Women should bear the responsibility for the choices they make, but current policy ensures they need not. That’s bad for men, women, children and society generally. Public policy needs to change to reflect the science on personal choice.




National Parents Organization is a Shared Parenting Organization

National Parents Organization is a non-profit that educates the public, families, educators, and legislators about the importance of shared parenting and how it can reduce conflict in children, parents, and extended families. Along with Shared Parenting we advocate for fair Child Support and Alimony Legislation. Want to get involved?  Here’s how:

Together, we can drive home the family, child development, social and national benefits of shared parenting, and fair child support and alimony. Thank you for your activism.

#sexroles, #malebreadwinners

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