Fatherhood and Family in Finland and the UK – What do men think?

24 October 2005

University of Kent study: Anni Ahmavaara & Diane M. Houston

This report presents the findings of a cross-cultural study on men’s attitudes towards fatherhood and family. The participants were Finnish and British trade union members (N = 319), and included both fathers and non-fathers. The response rate for the study was rather low at 17%. The results showed that overall men view fatherhood very positively, and fathers feel that they participate in their children’s lives much more than their own fathers did in theirs. Men also viewed fathers to be as important to children as mothers are. Despite these positive attitudes fathers often reported that they did less childcare than their partners, and felt that they did not spend enough time with their families due to pressure to work long hours at a paid job. The men who were not yet fathers expressed more equal views about family-life, and less negative views about work-family conflict than fathers. The Finnish men had taken significantly more time off work to care for their children than British men, and were also less concerned about the financial impact of paternity leave. Majority of the British men thought that a two-week paternity leave should be made compulsory.

The full study can be found on the web here