Friday, June 18, 2004

I'll get to the newspaper stories that are swarming in soon enough, but I wanted to flag today's Morning Edition on NPR, which ran this segment on at-home dads. (Disclosure: they mention this site, which predisposes me to think it was a genius bit of broadcasting.)

The slant of the conversation was that dads at home are becoming more and more common, and that we're not the Y-chromosomed freaks we once were. Bonus points: reporter Bonnie Erbe notes that we're not big fans of the phrase "Mr. Mom." Extra bonus points: she mentions the case of Kevin Knussman, the poster child for discrimination against fathers who wish to take paternity leave.

But Erbe also lets loose with an interesting factoid: that 45 percent of eligible men take their Family and Medical Leave Act. I think that's almost certainly wrong. (I seem to remember seeing a big consulting firm bragging that its male employees had a rate up around 45 percent, but I don't think that's true for eligible employees as a whole. James Levine of the Fatherhood Project has estimated that the rate is closer to 15 percent, with many men -- as Erbe notes -- taking "underground" leave.)

Still, good press is good press ...


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