This is false, and a sign of how malleable the lazy dad myth is. Now that equality in overall work hours has been proven, people committed to the myth insist there’s “invisible” work done, composed mostly of planning and worrying, and that men aren’t doing their fair share. It showed up most recently in a Money article by Lisa Wade, a professor of sociology at Occidental College. “If that work were shared, women’s extra burdens would be lifted,” she wrote. “Only then will women have as much lightness of mind as men.”
Thanks to Money, I was given space for a response article correcting the record. I urge anyone looking for the facts to read this full article. Here’s how it begins:
Many of the men you know are suffering from anxiety. More than six million in the United States alone have depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
Stress levels are on the rise, too. On a 10-point stress scale, the average man scores a 5, essentially closing a previous gap with women, the American Psychological Association found. Men die by suicide 3.5 times as often as women —more than 90 men a day. And the problem is global.
But few people realize the mental health struggles of men, because men are less likely than women to let on how stressed or anxious they’re feeling. And they’re less likely to seek help.
I also note that “Wade cites one tiny, outdated study from 1996 that included 23 couples. But today, dads are doing more than ever.”
As long as people believe men have “lightness of mind,” they’ll remain oblivious to the stresses and mental health struggles of men around them. This has to stop.
Sadly, Wade’s inaccurate piece got far more traffic than my response piece. That’s virtually always the case. People want to read and share negatives. (And while both our articles ran in the physical magazine, mine was shrunk.)