Men Suffer From More Work-Life Conflict Than Women?

According to some studies, yes.

According to a 2011 study by the Families and Work Institute, 60% of American men in dual-earner families report conflict between their work and their home life, while only 47% of women do.

Why? Men are more invested in the Success Myth than women; they are more likely to believe that their worth is based on their career success and their ability to be a provider. On the other hand, men are more committed than previous generations of men were to being involved fathers and don’t want to be the stereotypical distant dad. Unfortunately, torn between these two roles, they may end up stressed out and feel like they’re not able to do either as well as they could have. In addition, the stress of the economic crisis and economic trends even before the crisis (such as decreased job security and increased earnings) make work more time-consuming and difficult for men, who are still more likely to be the primary wage-earner, which increases the amount of stress that men are under.

It is time for American workplaces and those around the globe to institute family-friendly policies: paid maternity and paternity leave, on-site child care, flextime, an openness to part-time work or working from home for people who want to spend time with their children. Most of American couples are dual-earner couples; it’s about time that we acknowledge that reality instead of setting up the entire economy as if everyone, male and female, has a wife at home to pick up the kids from school and do the laundry. This is not just a female issue– this is an issue for everyone that wants to have children someday.

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Ozy Frantz is a student at a well-respected Hippie College in the United States. Zie bases most of zir life decisions on Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, and identifies more closely with Pinkie Pie than is probably necessary. Ozy can be contacted at [email protected] or on Twitter as @ozyfrantz. Writing is presently Ozy's primary means of support, so to tip the blogger, click here.

Comments

  1. I support the idea behind what you’re proposing, but my pessimistic practical side says many of these concessions for people with families cost a LOT to provide, and without federal subsidies or a federal mandate, I don’t see many companies being willing to devote so much funding to things like on-site childcare and long-term paid parental leave, especially not small businesses like the one I work at. It cuts into profits and affords little benefit to the company itself.

    Besides, in my experience (which is limited – I’ve only worked for a handful of different employers), parents already get preferential treatment when the kids are involved. At my last job, the only person who had a regular work-from-home privilege was a married father to young children. The rest of us could only work off-site in an emergency – when I was part-time, I lost an entire shift’s worth of hours because the driveway was so iced over I couldn’t even safely leave the house. My job was website editing and maintenance, something that can be done from virtually anywhere with an Internet connection. It pissed me off royally. If parents are allowed concessions like flex time and working offsite, non-parent employees should be afforded the same; otherwise, it smacks of discrimination against the childless/childfree.

    • Go on strike.

      The maximum working week in France is 35 hours (with a few jobs as exceptions.) The French demand a similar annual wage and standard of living to Americans. If French people don’t get nearly double an American’s hourly wage, then the French are out the door and on the picket lines. Companies have to pay, because they need workers.

    • “…but my pessimistic practical side says many of these concessions for people with families cost a LOT to provide, and without federal subsidies or a federal mandate, I don’t see many companies being willing to devote so much funding to things like on-site childcare and long-term paid parental leave,…”

      Yes, this all of this, and another big disincentive is the competitive disadvantage this imposes on those who offer it it first, so no one fges first. It has to be everyone or no one, and that requires enforceable regulations.


      Besides, in my experience (which is limited – I’ve only worked for a handful of different employers), parents already get preferential treatment when the kids are involved. ”

      This is a real problem, and glib dismissals “Oh, we’re raising the generation that will empty your bedpans…” do not help at all.

  2. I won’t come down on the side of systemic benefits for traditional-family-making. I don’t support sexual discrimination in either direction, but, as a long-term single and long-term childless person, I am acutely aware that the choice and opportunity to build a family are often incentivized in many workplaces (even if they are simultaneously disincentivized in others). I’d be happier with a general expansion of business’ recognition of the fact that ALL their employees have personal lives and external priorities.

  3. Men not only suffer from the conflict at workplace but they are also victims of biased views of society which thinks that the woman are angels while men are the beast. http://www.lifenstory.com/frmViewStory.aspx?C1=190
    These wrong tags will stick to men unless they start questioning their validity, at least I have started to voice my disagreement over these biased view which the society and media has about men – http://www.lifenstory.com/frmViewStory.aspx?C1=183

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