Parenting has been highly gendered through the breadwinner model of the family – male breadwinner, female carer – and yet the single most significant development in the second part of the twentieth century has been changes to gendered roles. Large numbers of women have entered the workforce, this is evident all round. The vast majority of couples aspire to a form of equal or egalitarian family while there are significant trends towards gendered roles after the birth of an infant.
The Gottman Institute in the United States have contributed much to this area. This research has been brought together in a join project by VicHealth and Whitehorse Community Health Services. The report is titled: Baby Makes 3 – Respect, Responsibility and Equality (a google search on the title will find a pdf copy). The project emphasises the importance of promoting respectful relationships particularly in the early years after the birth of an infant, during the Transition to Parenthood. This is work that is also critical to the prevention of violence against women; an objective that is set out in the above mentioned report.
The Gottman Institute have also set up a Relationship Blog in which they canvas related issues. You can see this at: http://www.gottmanblog.com/
Read more at Joan’s Website http://www.maternalhealthandwellbeing.com/