Trend reversal

Why the numbers of stay-at-home dads are suddenly on the decline in the U.K.

Stay-at-home dad helps daughter Kali core a pineapple while family cat Rainbow eats atop the refrigerator. (TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Amid major cultural shifts over the last decade, the number of men both taking more active roles in parenting and putting careers on hold and becoming stay-at-home dads so their wives can pursue career goals, has been steadily on the rise. The phenomenon has been seen in the U.S. and across the pond. But in the U.K., the latest government labor statistics show that the trend is now reversing. From 1993 to 2014, the number of men staying home and out of the workforce to parent steadily rose, but an analysis of the data shows that over the last three years that figure has suddenly begun to decline. Despite the decrease in men staying home, the number of women out of the workforce continued its decline and hit a record low of 5.38 million, The Telegraph Reports.

What’s behind the trend reversal? Sir Cary Cooper, a professor of organizational psychology at the University of Manchester, thinks it has to do with the novelty of staying home to parent, or being a “new man,” beginning to wear off.

He told The Telegraph, “I think at one point in time it was quite trendy and adventurous to stay at home — men thought ‘I should be a new man’.” But, he added, “I think what’s ended up happening is that they feel like society doesn’t reward that and doesn’t give them high status. Men feel that they are only valued for their work role.

Read the full story at The Telegraph.


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