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Fathers and Gender Traditionalism: Perception of Inequality and Life Roles

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 April 2014

Consuelo Paterna*
Universidad de Murcia
Carmen Martínez
Universidad de Murcia
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Consuelo Paterna Bleda. Facultad de Psicología, Área de Psicología Social, 30100 Campus de Espinardo, Murcia (Spain). Phone: 968-363974. Fax: 968-364115. E-mail:


Men's discourse about the paternal role is changing significantly. Despite the fact that men still perceive themselves as being responsible for the family's economical protection and the children's discipline, they face increasing demands for more involvement in childcare. From this perspective, this work analyzes the traditional view of gender roles and the perception of inequality in a sample of 95 employed fathers, as well as the various levels of satisfaction with other life roles and their relevance as a function of some gender and sociodemographic variables. The results show that men do not maintain a very traditional gender ideology with regard to role distribution and they still consider the paternal role and feelings as the most important thing in their lives. However, the couple relationship gives them the most satisfaction. Level of traditionalism and age were the two significant predicting variables of perception of inequality of men and women.

El discurso de los hombres sobre el rol paternal está cambiando significativamente, pues aunque todavía se perciben como responsables de la protección económica de la familia y disciplina de los hijos, también se les exige mayor compromiso en el cuidado de éstos. Desde esta perspectiva este trabajo analiza la visión tradicional de los roles de género y la percepción de desigualdad en una muestra de 95 padres con empleo, así como los diferentes niveles de satisfacción con otros roles vitales y su relevancia en función de ciertas variables de género y sociodemográficas. Los resultados muestran que los hombres no mantienen una ideología de género demasiado tradicional respecto de la distribución de roles y siguen considerando el sentimiento y rol paternal como lo más relevante en sus vidas. Sin embargo es la relación de pareja lo que mayor satisfacción les produce. El grado de tradicionalismo y la edad son las dos variables predictoras significativas de la percepción de desigualdad entre hombres y mujeres.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2006

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