Especially if both parents are women.
For the research, scientists analyzed data from the American Time Use Survey, a nationally representative survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. They looked specifically at data for 44,188 people between 2003 to 2013.
Here’s what they discovered: Women spent about 100 minutes a day on child-focused activities (physical care, playing, or teaching), regardless of whether they were in a same-sex relationship or not.
That completely eclipses the 50 minutes a day spent by dads who were married to or cohabitating with women. But dads in same-sex relationships also spent about 100 minutes a day on child-focused activities.
Essentially, children get more attention from their moms…or if they have same-sex parents.
“Men with female partners spend much less time on child-focused activities, which means children with two different-sex parents end up with less child-focused time devoted to them than if they had two mothers,” lead study author Kate Prickett, Ph.D., a postdoctoral research fellow in the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin, tells Womenshealthmag.com.
She says her findings underscore that same-sex partners are often pretty great parents.
“The focus on whether same-sex parents provide different family contexts for healthy child development is misplaced,” says Prickett.
The findings are fascinating and infuriating at once (really, heterosexual dads?) but it’s worth pointing out that just 55 parents out of more than 44,000 were identified as having same-sex partners, and only 17 of those were men. It’s also worth noting that, while these findings are interesting, the study indicated that parents’ levels of education and financial stability were actually stronger predictors of how much time they spent with their kids than their gender or sexuality.
But yes, it makes perfect sense that women should still struggle to get paid maternity leave even though we do most of the quality parenting (note the sarcasm…).