Does Parenthood Influence How Men and Women Spend Their Time? Evidence from Four Societies

Kermyt G. Anderson, University of Oklahoma
Peter Gray, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Monique Borgerhoff Mulder, University of California, Davis
Adam Moody, University of Oklahoma

Relatively little is known about how parenthood influences time allocation patterns for men and women in non-industrialized societies. Based on patterns observed in industrialized nations, women with children are predicted to increase time spent in child care and domestic activities, whereas men with children are predicted to increase their involvement in economically productive activities. Both fathers and mothers are expected to reduce engagement in social and leisure activities. We test these predictions using quantitative time allocation data on 516 individuals from four subsistence societies. We find that men who are fathers spend more time in commercial activities than non-fathers. In contrast, women who are mothers spend more time in commercial activities, food production and food preparation than non-mothers, and less time in manufacturing activities. Both men and women spend less time in social activities. Parenting trade-offs do influence time allocation patterns in sex-specific ways.

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Presented in Poster Session 7