Dads Watch TV Instead of Taking Care of Their Kids

A blog about business and economics.
Oct. 8 2013 11:44 AM

Dads Watch TV Instead of Taking Care of Their Kids  

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There's an interesting new set of charts out from Pew Social Trends about how mothers and fathers spend their time that offers the not-so-striking conclusion that dads spend more time doing paid work in the market while moms spend more time doing unpaid household work and childcare tasks.

What's a bit more interesting is that alongside this household division of labor there's the fact that men spend an extra three hours a week engaged in leisure activities. That's your male privilege, in other words, quite apart from any thoughts about specialization. Then if you scroll down further you'll see a chart where we learn specifically that dads spend 2.8 more hours per week watching television than moms do. The extra leisure time, in other words, is not exactly going to create Yochai Benkler's utopian world of peer production.

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It's also worth saying that despite the mom/dad gap, moms are watching quite a bit of television—14.7 hours per week—which tends to make me think the marginal shows dads are picking up with their extra three hours aren't necessarily the finest programming the golden age has to offer.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

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