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What women want in 2010: A husband who'll be the main breadwinner


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What women want in 2010: A husband who'll be the main breadwinner

 

 

By Beth Hale

Last updated at 10:09 AM on 18th February 2010

 

 

 

Young mothers are turning their backs on high-powered careers to raise their children, a study has found.

Their mothers, or even grandmothers, lived through a time when women fought for full-time work and better pay.

But today's generation is returning to the traditional values of home and family - and looking to men to be the breadwinners.

 

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Tradition: But Baby Boomers in the 1950s wanted to go out and work

 

The about-face was highlighted yesterday in research presented by leading sociologist Geoff Dench, who has analysed responses to questions asked in the annual British Social Attitudes survey.

 

More...

 

 

 

His analysis comes against a background of growing political pressure on mothers to go out to work.

It revealed a striking change in values in the decade since New Labour swept to power.

The number of mothers with children under four who thought that family life would suffer if women worked full-time fell in the years before Tony Blair took office, dropping from 43 per cent in 1990 to 21 per cent in 1998. But by 2002 it was rising and in 2006 had soared to 37 per cent.

Similarly the number of women in the same category who agreed that most women want a home and children fell between 1994 and 2002 to 15 per cent.

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Regression? Women in 2010 are turning their backs on high-powered careers to raise their children

 

But in 2006, the last time the question was asked in the survey, that number had rocketed to 32 per cent - higher even than back in 1986 when it stood at 20 per cent.

 

By far the biggest leap came when women were asked whether they agreed that men and women should have different roles.

In 1986, 40 per cent of women with children under four said 'yes', four years later that had plummeted to 13 per cent and by 2002 it had dropped still lower to 2 per cent.

In 2006, however, that had jumped back up to 17 per cent.

 

Last night Mr Dench, who completed his analysis for the right-leaning Centre for Policy Studies in association with the Hera Trust, said: 'Women with young children are going back to the very traditional division of labour in which they want the husband as the breadwinner.

 

'Having tried full-time working themselves they have found the home much more interesting and want to be enabled to have that - especially if the only job they have access to is a dull job.'

He said there had been a gradual move back towards 'more positive evaluations of women's traditional "work" in the family and informal community'.

 

 

While mothers have increased the amount of paid work they do, he said this was mostly part-time work, enabling them also to spend time in the home.

He said evidence pointed to the group fuelling the switch being young mothers aged 18 to 34 - the same age as their mothers were when they fought for the right to work on a par with men.

 

'They are rocking against the Baby Boom generation, in many cases their own parents,' he added. 'Just as young women led the movement into higher levels of paid work, it seems to be young women who are leading a return to more traditional values.'

 

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Stepping back: Today's generation of women is returning to the traditional views of home and family

 

The number of mothers with children under four working part-time has risen from 10 per cent in 1983 to 1986, to 28 per cent from 2005 to 2008. In the same category the number working full-time has risen from 9 per cent to 19 cent.

Mr Dench said that the women who said they were happiest appeared to be those who valued the housewife role but also did some paid work.

The analysis follows a report from a prominent liberal commentator which also revealed that far from wanting to be 'superwomen who manage everything, plus a high-profiled career', many women just want to be stay-at-home mothers with their husbands taking the role of breadwinner.

Cristina Odone, a former deputy editor of the New Statesman and editor of the Catholic Herald, said millions of women had been left frustrated and miserable by Government policies that push them back into jobs and their children into nurseries.

Ministers have redoubled efforts to persuade mothers to take jobs in the face of evidence that a big majority of the poorest families are two-parent families in which only the father works.

Meanwhile the Equality and Human Rights Commission and equal pay pressure groups say that mothers are often anxious to go back to work but are pressured into a caring role by lack of flexible working hours, a shortage of affordable daycare and reluctance of men to take over a share of the childcare.

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IMO one parent should be a stay-at-home. Whether it's the man or woman is irrelevant. I feel a family is stronger if there is someone always at home when raising young children and even teenagers.

 

I agree. I mean I'm no expert but from personal experience and comparing my life to friends and people in school I think that families are stronger. And also most importantly it is good for the children to have someone at home, rather than two parents always working not being there for their kids.

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Ideally both parents would be at home raising their kids. But if one parent must be out working, then he should spend as much time with his kids while at home as possible.

 

And there are ways for a woman to contribute to the family income without being away from home.

 

People are starting to realize this lifestyle of living beyond your means, and constantly being in debt... just isn't what life is about. We're about to see a great shift in what people consider "average" or even desirable. Smaller house, shorter hours, more family time. Modesty.

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Well duh, who doesn't want a partner who will do all the work for them...?

 

I would like it if I got with a guy who did all the work. That would be awesome. I could just be like *sit at home* *relax* *go eat something* etc. And not have to have a job I didn't like.

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Well duh, who doesn't want a partner who will do all the work for them...?

 

I would like it if I got with a guy who did all the work. That would be awesome. I could just be like *sit at home* *relax* *go eat something* etc. And not have to have a job I didn't like.

 

I don't. Even if my partner was very rich, I'd still want to do something. Nothing worse than having to ask him for money all the time.

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They just haven't replied.

 

I definitely wouldn't wanna stay at home.

 

 

 

It's not like everyone has a choice anyway. A lot of people wouldn't be able to feed their family if their partner wasn't working.

 

See, this is the amazing/counterintuitive thing about economics that most people (strangely enough) aren't outraged by.

 

Technology and mass-production have enabled us to produce the necessities of life in such abundance, that the price of EVERYTHING should constantly be dropping. And by "price", I mean the number of hours the average worker must work to earn the money necessary to buy something.

 

So back in the 1930's, the price of a chicken dinner would have been something like 2 hours of work - today it's closer to a half-hour of work. The cost of a pair of shoes dropped from 8 hours of work, to just 3 hours. And so on and so forth.

 

But, miraculously, something counter-capitalist is happening; we need to work more hours, just to be able to afford basic necessities. How is this possible?

 

Certain things are actually rising in price. Focus on what those things are - college education, housing, food, taxes, medicine... all these things are in industries with limited or zero competition to drive down prices, or they have been affected by strict government regulations.

 

I'm a firm believer that without government, the cost of living a middle class lifestyle would fall so quickly as to make it so that everyone would only have to work 3 days a week if they so wished.

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I don't. Even if my partner was very rich, I'd still want to do something. Nothing worse than having to ask him for money all the time.

 

That's not what I'm saying though, a guy can be the main breadwinner and if I like to stay home and read books I could do that if I wanted. It isn't like I would just sit around the house going "HONEY CAN I HAVE SOME MONEY FOR EGGS WE'RE NEARLY OUT" or anything. I'm just saying obviously it's nice to not have to do most of the work, to most people.

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IMO one parent should be a stay-at-home. Whether it's the man or woman is irrelevant. I feel a family is stronger if there is someone always at home when raising young children and even teenagers.

I agree very much with you.

 

Git yo ass back in da kitchen bitch!

In a nicer way I agree, men should make more money then the mother in the family.

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Ideally both parents would be at home raising their kids. But if one parent must be out working, then he should spend as much time with his kids while at home as possible.

 

And there are ways for a woman to contribute to the family income without being away from home.

 

People are starting to realize this lifestyle of living beyond your means, and constantly being in debt... just isn't what life is about. We're about to see a great shift in what people consider "average" or even desirable. Smaller house, shorter hours, more family time. Modesty.

 

Well said. It's a pity it has taken people so long to wake up to this.;)

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