Working Couples: Exploding the Myths

Working Couples: Exploding the Myths

Why can’t we be more logical when we look at women and the value of their careers? That’s the question that Sharon Meers and Joanna Strober ask in their new book, Getting to 50-50: How Working Couples Can Have It All by Sharing It All.

As Meers explains in this video from Authors@Google, the project of the book was to share information and stimulate dialogue with the aim of collectively changing “the dynamics and framing of the discussion on work and family.” How, in other words, can men get “the joys of full parenthood” and women “the joys of full career”?

Getting to 50-50 is based on best research in childcare and child development, marriage, organizational behavior, psychology, as well as a survey of working couples. The final conclusion: 50-50 childcare and housework is better for kids, marriage, and both men and women.

Major takeaways from the video:

1. Men and women have more in common than they have differences when it comes to their desire for work and family.

2. There is no scientific basis for the cultural belief that men need careers more than women for psychological well-being.

3. Kids do equally well whether their mothers work or not. There is no respected research reporting female employment as harming children.

4. The swing factor for successful children (higher grades, better behavior, greater self-confidence) is an active father.

5. The most important driving element of an active father is not the father’s attitude, but the mother’s attitude.

6. Men’s jobs don’t keep them from active parenting (ie, visiting schools). Rather, what keeps them from active parenting is the shared cultural belief that, if a woman is around, it’s assumed to be her job.

7. More shared housework, childcare, and breadwinning correlates with a lower divorce rate and more sex.

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