Most People Believe Kids Need a Stay-at-Home Parent … as Long as It’s Not the Dad

A group of stay-at-home dads in Rockville, Md., share playdate time. (Photo: Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post/Getty Images)

Equality and diversity in the workplace are certainly issues that few can argue against. Over the last few decades, despite lingering issues related to pay and gender, we’ve seen great strides toward making the workplace more diverse and equal. Still, despite the ability of both parents to work full-time, most people still believe that children benefit from having at least one parent fulfill the traditional stay-at-home role, according to a recent Pew Research Center study.

In the study, 4,602 American adults were polled on their views regarding stay-at-home parenting, and the majority of respondents believe that such arrangements benefit the children — an opinion generally shared across gender, age, class, and race categories. Only full-time working mothers (55 percent) and those who identified as black (51 percent), expressed the viewpoint that children can be just as well off if both parents work.

Interestingly, the viewpoints of younger adults don’t differ much from those of older Americans polled. According to the Pew study:

“But even among those under age 30, fully 54 percent hold this view. And younger men are far more likely than younger women to say children are better off with a parent at home (62 percent vs. 46 percent).”

And, somewhat significantly, only 2 percent of those polled in favor of a parent staying at home believed it would be better for the father to be the stay-at-home parent.

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