Gender and Parenthood: Biological and Social Scientific Perspectives. Columbia University Press, 2013.
Edited by W. Bradford Wilcox and Kathleen Kovner Kline
The essays in this collection deploy biological and social scientific perspectives to evaluate the transformative experience of parenthood for today’s women and men. They map the similar and distinct roles mothers and fathers play in their children’s lives and measure the effect of gendered parenting on child well-being, work and family arrangements, and the quality of couples’ relationships.
Contributors describe what happens to brains and bodies when women become mothers and men become fathers; whether the stakes are the same or different for each sex; why, across history and cultures, women are typically more involved in childcare than men; why some fathers are strongly present in their children’s lives while others are not; and how the various commitments men and women make to parenting shape their approaches to paid work and romantic relationships. Considering recent changes in men’s and women’s familial duties, the growing number of single-parent families, and the impassioned tenor of same-sex marriage debates, this book adds sound scientific and theoretical insight to these issues, constituting a standout resource for those interested in the causes and consequences of contemporary gendered parenthood.