Sociology Paper – Research Paper – Subrina Monteith
Breadwinners to diaper duty – The roles of men within the family unit as SAHFAre SAHF chosen by their characteristics or out of family financial necessity. Do stay at home fathers exhibit different characteristics allowing them to step away from the traditional role of financial provider and step into caregiving role allowing the mother to become the bread winner or are they agents of the situation. The characteristics of men who are SAHF (stay-at-home fathers) will be examined to determine if indeed the desire to stay home exists within the stereotypical role of father or is it necessity for the family’s financial future for the male adult to accept the role as caregiver. Examining the changing family roles over the last thirty years has given us an insight to the fathers who become SAHF and why. There is a stereotypical division of labour within a family that supports a typical family that includes a SAHM (stay at home mother) or double income family before considering a SAHF as a potential family composition. Society and various cultures have set roles that are expected as a part of the social norm we have all grown into may no longer meet family’s needs for caregiving and breadwinners. With the current role change underfoot as women are moving from the kitchen to boardrooms. When describing a family unit there are many ways to approach the view of the composition that create a family but for the duration of this paper, the focus is on comparing SAHF vs SAHM compositions and dual income families. SAHP (stay at home parents) are defined as a parent, mother or father, who does not work to provide financially for the family but instead work within the home on the family units needs; cooking, childcare to driving etc. SAHF and SAHM represent the least tradition and most traditional family compositions opening the scope of view into both types of family units that are similar yet offer different stereotypical assumptions (Kramer, 2015). Research studies acknowledge that SAHF families represent a small portion of all two parent families between 2000 and 2009, 1.25 million children we part of family’s wo had a SAHF’s (Kramer, 2015). Research does not consider SAHFs who work evenings, shift work or part time only those who do not earn an income to support their family. The number of children who receive their primary caregiving from SAHF’s is significant showing a changing trend within society. Society is starting to see that the stereotypical gender specific roles may not work for all families. SAHF used to be fathers who were injured or unemployable due to lack of needed skills to provide for their families leaving them with the task of childcare not by choice. The logic behind a woman’s choice to be a SAHM continues to be taking care of the home and children, while the logic behind a man’s choice isn’t an obvious choice with societies views (Kramer, 2015). Characteristics are a key component to accepting the nontraditional role within a family unit for any SAHF. A SAHF is nurturing, gentle, domesticated, organized and dedicated to caregiving of the family’s needs.
Changing roles to keep up with the current times is required by families yet is often looked at as hegemonic masculinity as theorized as an increase in the feminism movement (Medved, 2016). Western societies use hegemonic masculinity to refer to white men of middle class which is the demographic of SAHF in the information of this paper (Claudia, 2011). SAHF often battle homophobia within society as often having a tender nature to care for one’s youth is masculine in nature (Medved, 2016). Questions from society are often judgmental and follow traditional values of the family structure. Society is making slow changes to support this change in roles which is supported by increasing number of family change areas for children and change tables in men’s bathrooms. Career paths choices are widening to support cross gender roles in nursing to trades showing that society is embracing the shift in gender roles by individual choices vs expected choices in careers to parenting and family composition. A SAHF is often viewed as unemployable or injured to be the care giver presenting a sexism view on care giving of offspring (Kramer, 2015). Our society prefers to see the mother as caring and loving vs the father, making it a rough road for some SAHF who have chosen to support their partner. According to the Economist, unemployable individuals also includes anyone who voluntarily refrains from participating in the labor force as well as disabled or inability to find suitable work to match their skills (Economics A to Z, n.d.). Research tell us that SAHF are unemployable by choice, to support their family in a role that makes the most sense for that family’s needs thus they are unemployable under an economist view but not societies or culturally recognizing the value of the role as caregiver (Kramer, 2015). Society often assumes men who are SAHF are not capable or unwilling to be providers for their families.
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(2017, 12). Sociology Paper. EssaysForStudent.com. Retrieved 12, 2017, from