Baltimore Magazine: Daddy Duty - Stay-At-Home Dads Are on the Rise and Redefining the Meaning of Fatherhood
Family Science Associate Professor Dr. Kevin Roy was quoted by Baltimore Magazine in an article exploring how an increase in stay-at-home fathers is redefining how we perceive fatherhood. These new, younger fathers, according to Dr. Roy, are rejecting traditional gender norms associated with marriages between a husband and wife.
“These are men who are open to playing with different ways of being a guy,” Dr. Roy told Baltimore Magazine. “They feel less stress taking on this role, which, to some extent, leads to a higher relationship quality with their partners.”
Dr. Roy has worked for two decades with low-income families and community-based parenting programs researching the life course and transitional phases of young men on the margins of families and the work-force.
The recent proliferation of stay-at-home fathers, Dr. Roy said, has led to fathers creating their own social events and circles. The percentage of stay-at-home fathers in 2016 was 17 percent, according to the Pew Research Center, a 10 percent increase since 1989.
“Men who stay at home can feel a need to play a community role,” he told Baltimore Magazine. “Instead of feeling they are just caregivers, they might also be the soccer coach and get involved in community-based volunteer work as a way to create some status in their new role.”
Many of the men quoted in the article described feelings of isolation and awkwardness in parent groups that still tend to be mostly female. Mothers would often bond or make small talk by discussing their pregnancies, about which the men had little to say.
The desire to connect has led to the formation of stay-at-home dad groups around the country, such as the Facebook group At-Home Dad Network. It was founded over 20 years ago and has more than 10,000 followers.