Only Half Of American Women Want To Work Outside The Home

Just 51% of American women prefer to have a paying job outside the home, according to a new survey from Gallup. Even among women with full-time jobs, only 57% say they’re actually doing what they want: 40% of them say they’d prefer to stay home to care for the house and family. Meanwhile, 76% of men say their ideal lifestyle includes working outside the home.

There are some some interesting differences between various groups of women, too: 59% of Democratic women prefer to work outside the home, compared to just 37% of Republican women. And college-educated women are also much likelier to prefer paid work (57%) compared to women without college degrees (41%). Finally, unmarried women (55%) are likelier to prefer work than married women (46%).

Gallup presents the very fact that more than half of women prefer to work outside the home as notable. During the boom years of the mid-2000s, the percentage of women who said they preferred to work plummeted to just 42%. But to me, the interesting thing here is how big the differences are between women and men’s ideal lifestyles.

In the past few years, it seems like there have been more articles written about stay at home fatherhood than there are actual dads volunteering to stay home. A CNN story earlier this year reported that for families with kids under age 5, 20% of dads served as primary caretaker. But the numbers here tell a different story: The percentage of men who say they’d prefer to stay home has remained basically unchanged since 1992, and has never risen above 30%. Currently, just 22% of men say they’d want to stay home if they could, a number that is near its lowest point in 10 years.

In many cases, the economy has made the stay-at-home decisions for dads by pushing them out of work. They’re staying at home by default, not by grand life plan. This is clear by the contrast between how employed and not-employed women approach work, compared to men in the same groups. Men without jobs (81%) are almost twice as likely as women without jobs (44%) to say they’d prefer to have a job outside the home. It will be interesting to see if the stay-at-home-dad trend continues as the economy continues to improve.

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    • Lastango

      “In the past few years, it seems like there have been more articles written about stay at home fatherhood than there are actual dads volunteering to stay home.”
      ==========
      The stay-at-home-dad (SAHD) propaganda machine is a wholly-owned branch of the gender feminist movement. The reason we sometimes hear it coming from males is because the movement believes its message will then be more likely to affect men. For their part, male professors have learned the university system and the system’s kindred interests will reward them handsomly if they sign up to sell this slant on feminism to men. Many feminists dislike having males involved in feminism, but their more strategically-minded sisters are trying to convince them that the feminist parade isn’t going to start picking up speed again unless they get some Quislings out in front of certain parts of the program.
      ===
      The push to sell the SAHD ideal came into being because feminists were thumping into two limits. First, far too many women were tuning out from feminism. Second, in many professions women were no longer moving into positions of power in increasing numbers. The problem, feminists believe, is that women were shortcircuiting their careers due to wanting to raise their children. The feminist solution is to convince men they should stay home instead. Tricking men into going for this means deconstructing traditional ideas of masculinity, and replacing these with a new concept of what it means to be a man — which explains why that angle keeps popping up again and again in writing about SAHDs. So, when we find ourselves reading about the new, nurturing male, we’re usually looking at a piece of politically-motivated manipulation cranked out by what has become an industry. Anyone think I’m making this up? Get thee to google. There is no shortage of overt writing and conferencing about this by the feminists themselves, including discussion of fine points like changing dropping lingo closely associated with the women’s movement to try to conceal from men the fact that the SAHD movement is directed by feminists, and that the goal is to help women, not men.
      ==========
      “It will be interesting to see if the stay-at-home-dad trend continues as the economy continues to improve.”
      ===
      The economy is deteriorating at breakneck speed, and it doing so all over the world. In Europe, even their treasured social safety net has begun to crumble at the edges. Here at home, the income of the median American has been declining for years. We are heading into a future that will fall far short of our present, debt-driven illusion of affluence.
      ==========
      “Just 51% of American women prefer to have a paying job outside the home.”
      ===
      Men have long known that, except for a few people at the top who reap the financial and ego rewards of success, and except for a few in personally rewarding positions, work basically sucks. Now women get that part, too — glitzy TV shows not withstanding.
      ==========
      BTW, I’m leary of any polling that asks people what they would “prefer” to do. That kind of thinking can easily have a wishing aspect that’s far away from reality. Most people in the working world are doing what they have to, not what they want to, and life is a struggle.

    • Lastango

      “In the past few years, it seems like there have been more articles written about stay at home fatherhood than there are actual dads volunteering to stay home.”
      ==========
      The stay-at-home-dad (SAHD) propaganda machine is a wholly-owned branch of the gender feminist movement. The reason we sometimes hear it coming from males is because the movement believes its message will then be more likely to affect men. For their part, male professors have learned the university system and the system’s kindred interests will reward them handsomly if they sign up to sell this slant on feminism to men. Many feminists dislike having males involved in feminism, but their more strategically-minded sisters are trying to convince them that the feminist parade isn’t going to start picking up speed again unless they get some Quislings out in front of certain parts of the program.
      ===
      The push to sell the SAHD ideal came into being because feminists were thumping into two limits. First, far too many women were tuning out from feminism. Second, in many professions women were no longer moving into positions of power in increasing numbers. The problem, feminists believe, is that women were shortcircuiting their careers due to wanting to raise their children. The feminist solution is to convince men they should stay home instead. Tricking men into going for this means deconstructing traditional ideas of masculinity, and replacing these with a new concept of what it means to be a man — which explains why that angle keeps popping up again and again in writing about SAHDs. So, when we find ourselves reading about the new, nurturing male, we’re usually looking at a piece of politically-motivated manipulation cranked out by what has become an industry. Anyone think I’m making this up? Get thee to google. There is no shortage of overt writing and conferencing about this by the feminists themselves, including discussion of fine points like changing dropping lingo closely associated with the women’s movement to try to conceal from men the fact that the SAHD movement is directed by feminists, and that the goal is to help women, not men.
      ==========
      “It will be interesting to see if the stay-at-home-dad trend continues as the economy continues to improve.”
      ===
      The economy is deteriorating at breakneck speed, and it doing so all over the world. In Europe, even their treasured social safety net has begun to crumble at the edges. Here at home, the income of the median American has been declining for years. We are heading into a future that will fall far short of our present, debt-driven illusion of affluence.
      ==========
      “Just 51% of American women prefer to have a paying job outside the home.”
      ===
      Men have long known that, except for a few people at the top who reap the financial and ego rewards of success, and except for a few in personally rewarding positions, work basically sucks. Now women get that part, too — glitzy TV shows not withstanding.
      ==========
      BTW, I’m leary of any polling that asks people what they would “prefer” to do. That kind of thinking can easily have a wishing aspect that’s far away from reality. Most people in the working world are doing what they have to, not what they want to, and life is a struggle.

    • Lilac

      It is very difficult trying to have it all. I would like to be a stay at home housewife but thanks to the economy unless my husband strikes oil (figuratively speaking) We both have to work outside the home. Its very stressful and really wears you down trying to care for a home, family and work full time. I wonder if that’s why so many women tend to let themselves go. There is not enough time in the day.

    • Lilac

      It is very difficult trying to have it all. I would like to be a stay at home housewife but thanks to the economy unless my husband strikes oil (figuratively speaking) We both have to work outside the home. Its very stressful and really wears you down trying to care for a home, family and work full time. I wonder if that’s why so many women tend to let themselves go. There is not enough time in the day.

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