Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More depressing news

From Crooked Timber:
1. Are you male, or female. (If you’re not sure, just pick one, if you reject the question, sit out the exercise).

2. During your teen years did you get paid to do babysitting more than 10 times?

3. Do you anticipate having children? If not, sit this out.

Here are three kinds of parenting arrangements.
A)Father led parenting: the father spends substantially more time than the mother looking after the children and thinking about their wellbeing over the course of their childhoods
B)Mother led parenting: the mother spends substantially more time than the father looking after the children and thinking about their wellbeing over the course of their childhoods
C)Egalitarian parenting: the mother and father spend roughly the same amount of time looking after the children and thinking about their wellbeing.

4. Think just about yourself for the moment. Which of A, B, and C best characterizes your expectations for your prospective family life.

5. 5. Now think about your FIVE best friends. Which of A, B, and C best characterizes your expectations for most of their family lives? (eg, you expect 3 or more of them to be Father-led, answer A).

I get my TA to collate the answers, and then read back the answers to the students.

I only recently added question 2), so I have less confidence about the answers to that one than the others. The one time I’ve done that in a large class, about 5% of the boys answered “yes”, whereas about 65% of the girls did. (The point of that question is abut socialisation, which has a key role in Okin’s argument).

But for 4 and 5 I get almost exactly the same numbers almost every time. Here they are.

4. Boys: A 0%; B 85%; C 15% Girls A 10%; B 25%; C 65%
5. Boys: A 0%; B 85%; C 15% Girls A 0%; B 75%; C 25%
Look at the disparity between the boys' answers and the girls' answers. In the competition to find mates, is there any doubt that a large percentage of the boys will lie to potential spouses?

Where is the Lysistrata for our times?

2 comments:

  1. I don't find that surprising based solely on the small sample of local friends and colleagues and the way they have raised their sons and daughters. Most of the women bemoan the fact that their husbands do little, bring their daughters up to expect more (not like daddy) and rear their boys to be exactly like their fathers (or worse).

    It goes beyond public and community influence to parental influence. I have had a lot of heated discussions about this, and I do have friends who fit and support plans A, and C, but they almost all friends I went to college with. Outside this circle most people I know train their sons to expect A, and the women are just as culpable as the men, often more so, as they intentionally excuse their sons from expectations that they deem to be "women's work", somehow blind to the idea that they are perpetuating the very behavior they rail against..

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  2. "It goes beyond public and community influence to parental influence."

    Parental influence doesn't happen in a vacuum. It's part of community/public.

    And women are not "more culpable" than the men in perpetuating gender roles. There's this little thing called "the patriarchy", in which we're all complicit to some extent. It's a hell of a lot more complicated than just silly women not teaching their sons right.

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