The stay at home dads (SAHD) is a booming jurgon in the present scenarios. The opinions about SAHD are amazing and too much critical in their context. A variety of opinions can be seen regarding SAHD and perhaps these opinions feel more painful when someone is being criticized and publicized wrongly. As the trends of life are changing so the stereotypes, which are being fixed for men or for stay at home dads, are reversing briskly. But in the presence of such opinions anarchy of conflict is being created about SAHD in the form of their value or worth in the society. There is the need to analyse the factors which are major contributors for forcing stay at home dads to reverese the existing or traditional stereotypes. A SAHD is an outcome of the modern and liberal societies where women have to talk about equal rights. A SAHD is the husband who is being nominated for the very care of the children and the maintenance of the households. There are many factors which are forcing the families to change the family infrastructure and responsibilities according to the changing norms and other economic and polictical issues. So in the research paper the major focus is on the issues and challenges which are faced by the stay at home dads.
From literature it is evident that in present times gender roles have altogether changed and they are reversing the jobs which are dealt as stereotypes for a particular gender. Gender is playing a prominent role in the routine life of a man or women. The role of gender can be judged by the nature of the responsibilities that either they are faminine or manly. So taking in view the allocation of responsibilities then there would be the association of gender with it. In recent times the men and women are assigned the opposite activities and the result is in reversal of stereotypes. When there would be the association of cross gender responsibilities then many different objections will rise against each other and so the people will try to find out alternative ways, for the plight, as a slution to the stay at home problem. The stay at home dads have to face many problems in the form of objections though they are the pioneer in reversing the stereotypes. Some of the problems which they have to face are discussed in the paper.
The role of a man is being seen in all the societies as a gaurdian and breadwinner. So he has to do the job for fulfilling the needs of the family while the women are entitled for kids’ care. The job oriented women don’t consider their husbands as men rather they are most sutiable to stay at home so this very argument is enough for stay at home dads to reverse the stereotypes. Even the wife would not be satisfied with the nourishment of the kids so the home dads are forced to adopt a cross gender stereotype. The husbands at home are forced to baby sit their kids and they heard it several times. Women are of the argument that babysitting is the job of the stay at home dads. The fathers who appear first time in the role of babysitting also show the reversal of the stereotype which is associated with mothers. After coming from the job women have to argue that you have done nothing except sleeping till noon. Women blame that they have enoyed eatalbes with children. So the reason of reversal from old stereotypes is the lack of motivation and enforcement of frustration.
People ask home dads in a satirical way that have you find the job or still in dire need of the job and busy in hunting it. So keeping in view these remarks in mind home dads are going to reverse the stereotypes. Another problem which is being faced by the stay at home dads is their night duty so in the morning they have to take care of the kids and home so they have to work at night. This reason is forcing them to reverse the stereotype.
Due to all of the above mentioned cross gender roles men and women face severe sort of penalties. These penalties may be in the form of reduction in their social fame or popularity.
There are lot of complexities in the roles played by men and women. The role of women as a housewife is more mature instead of role played by the men as a stay at home dad. The role of SAHD is newly inducted in the society and is played by the men in place of women. Hayghe in 1990 reported the statistics of Bureau of Labor that in 1975 the only percentage of families where the women were doing their jobs was 1.6%. In 1998 the ratio increased to 2.2%. Later in 1999 Tang reported that the increase in rate of job oriented women was 8.4%. From these figures it is evident that the ratio of stay at home dads is very less while most of the men are still the symbol of old stereotype and they are doing jobs while their wives are nourishing the kids at home. Frank was a psychologist who conducted a research in 1998 on home dad issue. His research was in the form of a questionaire in which the intended audiences were of the age of 38 years and they were performing the role of stay at home dad. Most of the men were not in the favour of daycare centres for their kids so they were too much involved in the nourishment of their children and they were paving the way in reversing the old stereotypes. Most of the men were quite satisfied with their existing status of home dad. Some were of the view due to home dad job their original job is affected seriously. Frank also conducted the research to examin the cross gender responsibilities due to the induction of home dad job. In his research he found that in most of the families men are the sole authority and they are running their financial, economical and social factors individually while the wives are busy in the care of kids at home. In his research Frank also found that the men are not the true supporter of the complete reversal of the old stereotypes rather they are struggling for equal balance in parenting… with the result of less stereotypical attitudes (Frank, 1998b) for the sake of their children. In another study Frank (1998a) selected a sample of 423 home dads and 602 home mothers. In this research Frank exposed different ideas of the couples regarding the issues of job entry or career and income loss due to attaining the status of home dad or mother. Frank found that the men were too much concerned about their careers rather than of women. So his research shows that men are not willing to reverse the existing stereotypes rather there are certain social and financial problems in the societies which are forcing men to change their roles. Further in his research he found that there are cerain roles which are only associated with women like bathing of children, changing of the cloths of the children while the home maintenance and repair activities are still in the domain of manly jobs.
Lutwin and Siperstein (1985) also performed their research on the very issue of stay at home dads or househusbands. They defined the househusbands as:
those husbands who actively are engaged in a role reversal with their wives. Consequently, the husbands are responsible for the primary care of the children and home while their wives are the principal wage earners (Lutwin and Siperstein, 1985).
They conducted their research after selecting a sample of 56 home dads or househusbands using the following criteria.
a) Men who are full tiem home dads or househusbands
b) With one baby
c) Performing the role for the last six months
d) White educated men
e) Age bracket of mid 30s
f) And they are married for the last eight years.
Lutwin and Siperstein found that most of the men are those who have been fired from the service due to some disability or other official problem and they have not chosen the househusband job voluntarily rather they are forced to do so. They found that these people have adjusted themselves difficultly so their adjustment level is not showing a constant value rather it is varying.
A research conducted by Radin (1994) is also based on stay at home dads or caregiving fathers. In his research he conducted five studies. These studies were conducted in Australia, Sweden, Israel and two studies were conducted by him in United States. In his research man shows the two major reasons due to which the men in these societies are inclined towards the job of stay at home dad or the job of caregiving father. These reasons are
a) Their concept of the father as a child
b) The problems faced by their fathers in hunting a job
So the very adoption of househusband job is basically based on external forces also. In the presence of these forces there is limited societal and governmental support to cope with these issues. One can easily conclude the results, based on the statistics of the research studies which are performed in the home dads area, that the men are not voluntarily joining the role rather there are certain financial, job, economic, social and family problems which are forcing them to stay at home calmly and there is no need to worry. The women can easily compete in the society so they can easily get the jobs and can be the wage earners.