researchpaperstayathomefathers - Vilnits 1 Rada Vilnits...

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Vilnits 1 Rada Vilnits Professor Piscitello Section 122 18 October 2007 The Stereotypes of Stay-at-Home Fathers According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, a stereotype is a conventional, formulaic, and oversimplified conception, opinion, or image of a certain group of people (Fourth Edition, Houghton Mifflin Co .) In other words, stereotypes are generalizations about groups and their individual members, based primarily on membership in that group. Though some stereotypes may be accurate, they are only based on some kernel of truth and the rest of it is exaggerated, or completely fabricated and false. Unfortunately, the stereotype of the stay-at-home father is that he is lazy, not masculine, and inept for financially supporting his family. These stereotypes are damaging to both men who are stay-at-home fathers and to those who are simply considering the idea because the stereotype eliminates any option of taking the position of a stay-at-home father. The stereotype is discouraging these men from any further interaction with their children aside from what they traditionally have, which is a mere fraction of the time that a typical stay-at-home mother shares with her children. The purpose of this paper is to offer a brief analysis of how stay-at-home fathers have been stereotyped as lazy, effeminate, and incapable of financially supporting their family and how this stereotype is completely false and that referring to the stereotype upon encounter with a stay-at-home father would be complete and utter ignorance.
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Vilnits 2 It is more common than not to see people cringe when they hear a man say that he is a stay-at-home father. If a man says that he is a stay-at-home dad, the response he is more likely to get is a laugh and if not that, then definitely a smirk. Traditionally, fathers were expected to be the primary “breadwinners” and the mothers were the ones to stay home with the children. However, since the Women’s Suffrage Movement has taken place, and many wives are earning a higher salary than their husbands, the exchange of these gender roles is becoming more and more common; and unfortunately, so are the stereotypes of stay-at-home fathers. Traditionally, men were expected to have a full-time well paying job to provide shelter and money for food for their households. Responsibilities like taking care of the children, cooking, and cleaning were tasks what the women were responsible for. Men were expected to provide safety, be the “man of the house” or in other words, show his masculinity and authority, and play his “role as a father as a person primarily involved in the economic support of the family and perhaps in the discipline and control of [older] children. (Lamb, Michael E., The Father's Role Cross-Cultural Perspective, 3.) Most conservatives would agree that the role of the stay-at-home father is not a traditional one. The underlying principle that reveals why this stereotype circulates and continues to flourish is that views of stay-at-home fathers being portrayed as clueless
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This note was uploaded on 05/01/2008 for the course ENGL 120 taught by Professor Piscitello during the Spring '08 term at CUNY Hunter.

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researchpaperstayathomefathers - Vilnits 1 Rada Vilnits...

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