Most of the men agreed or strongly agreed with statements such as "Having children is important to my feeling complete as a man"; "I always thought I would be a parent"; "I think my life will be or is more fulfilling with children"; and "It is important for me to have children," she said.
Second, men holding "non-egalitarian gender views" are more likely to commit to fatherhood and to value fatherhood. The term "non-egalitarian" is academic-speak for holding the view that there are distinctions in the roles of fathers and mothers within the family. In other words, men who believe that the paternal role is distinct from the maternal one are more committed to fatherhood:
Men who valued leisure and career, who espoused greater religiosity, who embraced non-egalitarian gender values, and who were already fathers tended to value fatherhood most.
These findings are similar to those arrived at in earlier research. For instance, back in 2007 I reported on a study undertaken by researchers from the University of Virginia which found that:
it would appear that women who are in marriages that are characterized by more traditional gender beliefs and practices are happier with the emotion work they receive and do receive more such emotion work from their husbands.
In 2006 another research project revealed that:
- only 53% of "gender egalitarian" men work full-time compared to 95.7% of the traditional type
- there was a higher fertility rate in traditional type families (1.7) compared to gender equality types (1.05)
- men in traditional type families spent both more time at work and more time with their children (45.8 hours at work and 9.2 hours with children compared to 36 hours at work and 8.7 hours with children)
This stands to reason. If you believe that you have a distinct and necessary role in the family which expresses and fulfils your masculine self-identity then you are more likely to commit to that role than if you see it in more neutral terms.