One-in-seven Americans are against paternity leave

About one-in-seven Americans believe men should not be able to take paternity leave, according to a new Pew Research Center study. That compares with three-in-a-hundred who believe women shouldn’t be able to take maternity leave.

Most Americans support paid leave for parents following the birth or adoption of a baby, and they feel the same way about workers who need to take care of a family member with a serious health problem. Older adults are the least supportive of fathers taking time off from work after a birth or adoption. Thirty percent of Americans 65 or older say fathers should not be allowed to take paternity leave – and that percentage rises to 36 when the poll includes only men 65 or older.

Democrats are more likely than Republicans to say men should take off following the birth of a child. Twenty-six percent of conservative Republicans said men should not get paternity leave. Still, 71 percent of those polled said it’s important for a new baby to have equal time to bond with both parents.

Pew found that fathers take considerably less time off after the birth or adoption of a child than mothers do. Among those who took leave in the past two years, the median length of the leave for fathers was one week. The median for mothers was 11 weeks.

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