From Breadwinner to Stay-at-home Dad – PsychTests’ Study Shows A Shift In The Roles of Fathers

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A recent study by reveals that men’s views of parenting and a father’s role in child-rearing are becoming less traditional.

Husbands and fathers have gone from being the sole breadwinner and the disciplinarian to sharing the responsibility of running a home and raising children.

Fathers are taking a much more active role in the raising of their children.

3 out of 4 men are accepting of stay-at-home dads.

The “typical” father-child relationship has changed over the decades, especially in the world of sitcom. Ward Cleaver on Leave it to Beaver generally acted as a disciplinarian, leaving the nurturing aspect of parenting to his wife. The 80’s brought Dr. Jason Seaver (Growing Pains), a stay-at-home dad who practiced psychiatry while his wife worked outside the home. Modern Family further redefined the concept of traditional dads with gay fathers Mitchell and Cameron acting as nurturers as well as disciplinarians for their adopted daughter, Lily. So to what degree are today’s dads taking a more non-traditional approach to family and child-rearing? New research by PsychTests reveals that while some traditional beliefs are still lagging, men’s views of the role of fathers have shifted significantly.

Collecting data from 822 men who took their Gender Roles Test, here’s what PsychTests’ study reveals.


  •     When asked who is better suited to be a stay-at-home parent, 51% believe that women are better suited, 3% believe that men are better suited while 46% feel that both genders would make a good stay-at-home parent.
  •     24% don’t like the idea of women working outside the home when children are young; 19% are somewhat fine with it while 57% are totally fine with it.
  •     24% would think less of a man who stayed home with the kids while his wife was the main breadwinner; 16% are somewhat fine with while 59% are totally fine with it.
  •     52% believe that mothers are better at calming and comforting children than fathers; 23% somewhat agree while 25% disagree.
  •     31% believe that men should be the disciplinarians in the family; another 31% somewhat agree while 38% disagree.
  •     27% believe that women should do the bulk of the childcare; 26% somewhat agree while 47% disagree.


  •     31% believe that boys should do whatever they can to avoid being called a “sissy;” 26% somewhat agree while 43% disagree.
  •     40% believe that boys are more likely to act out than girls are; 27% somewhat agree while 33% disagree.
  •     21% believe that little girls should be discouraged from being too tomboyish; 20% somewhat agree while 59% disagree.
  •     6% believe that a daughter should be discouraged from pursuing goals/careers that are typically male-oriented; 26% somewhat agree while 68% disagree.
  •     20% believe that children should only play with toys that are appropriate for their gender (as opposed to dolls for boys and trucks for girls); 31% somewhat agree while 49% disagree.
  •     10% would make it a priority for their daughter to learn domestic skills, like cooking and cleaning; 29% somewhat agree while 16% disagree. Interestingly, 45% also want their son to learn domestic skills.
  •     When it comes to crying and showing emotions:

o    14% would teach their son that crying and whining are unacceptable behaviors
o    27% would do the same for their daughters
o    34% think it’s inappropriate for boys to cry over “minor” issues
o    25% think that it’s fine for boys to cry and want their sons to be comfortable expressing their emotions.

  •     If they saw their son showing interest in stereotypically female activities and hobbies, 22% would be bothered by it, 45% would be somewhat bothered by it, while 33% would be fine with it. When asked what they would do about it:

o    57% would allow him to continue
o    37% would discourage him from these interests by trying to distract him with more masculine activities
o    6% would either forbid him to engage in these activities or punish him for doing so.

“The majority of women have welcomed the change in gender roles – being able to have a career, choosing not to get married or have children, etc. Men have taken a little more time to adjust to the times, but we are seeing a clear shift,” explains Dr. Ilona Jerabe k, president of PsychTests. “Husbands and fathers have gone from being the sole breadwinner and the disciplinarian to sharing the responsibility of running a home and raising children – some even going as far as trading roles with their wives and being the stay-at-home parent."

"There may still be some discomfort, however, or at least some misconceptions about a man’s family role – and interestingly, we see this quite a bit in our sample of men under the age of 30. For example, 65% of men over the age of 30 would support their wife’s decision to return to the work force and put the children in daycare; men under 30 are slightly less comfortable with this, at 59%. I think that once you become a parent, you realize how important it is to take a more active role in your child’s life - and more and more fathers are realizing this. It’s refreshing to see.”

What gender role views do you hold and how do you compare to others? Go to and find out!

Professional users of this assessment (therapists, life coaches and counselors) can request a free demo of the Gender Roles Test or any other tests from ARCH Profile’s extensive battery:

To learn more about psychological testing, download this free eBook:

About is a subsidiary of PsychTests AIM Inc. is a site that creates an interactive venue for self-exploration with a healthy dose of fun. The site offers a full range of professional-quality, scientifically validated psychological assessments that empower people to grow and reach their real potential through insightful feedback and detailed, custom-tailored analysis.

PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the internet scene in 1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. PsychTests AIM Inc. staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts (see The company’s research division, Plumeus Inc., is supported in part by Research and Development Tax Credit awarded by Industry Canada.

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Ilona Jerabek
PsychTests AIM Inc.
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