Cross-national Attitudes about Paid Parental Leave Offerings for Fathers

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Li, Qi
Knoester, Chris
Petts, Richard J.
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Family Strains
Family Policies
Paternity Leave
Gendered Expectations
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Using cross-national data from the 2012 International Social Survey Programme (N = 33,273), this study considers institutional, self-interest, and ideational factors in analyzing public opinions about the provision, length, and source of paid parental leave offerings for fathers. We find substantial support for generous leave offerings. Multilevel regression results reveal that being a woman, supporting dual-earning expectations, and realizing more family strains lead to support for more generous leave offerings. Endorsing separate spheres and intensive mothering attitudes reduces support for more generous leave offerings; although, gendered attitudes interact with one another in predicting leave preferences, too. Finally, country-level indicators of female empowerment and father-specific leave offerings are positively associated with preferences for more generous leave offerings. Overall, public opinions about fathers’ leave offerings across OECD countries largely support policies that provide opportunities for more involved fathering, but preferences continue to be gendered and linked to family strains and country-level contexts.