Dissertation: Trusting Men with Children: Understanding Childcare as Gendered Work
In the past fifty years, women’s lifestyles and behaviors have changed at a significantly faster pace than men’s. This asymmetry is perhaps most clear within the realm of care work. Women across the world perform the lion's share of caregiving in both their own families and as paid workers. Primary caregiving remains "women's work"; stay-at-home fathers, single dads, and male childcare workers are still rarities. My dissertation identifies individual, normative, and institutional factors which limit men’s participation in the realm of childcare. Using data from a series of online survey experiments, I show that perceptions of men as insufficient and inherently inferior caregivers may act as barriers to men’s increased involvement in the lives of children. In a series of three studies, I identify a variety of ways that essentialist beliefs and normative expectations actively reproduce the uneven division of childcare in both paid and unpaid care settings.