Gender Border Crossing and the Household Division of Labor and Childcare
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The division of household labor is unequally distributed against women. Men employed less than their female partner have more opportunity to equalize this division. The theoretical perspective of gender borders is used to explain how partners navigate this division of labor and how men border cross into the gender territory associated with women. Data from the 2016 American Time Use Survey are used to locate border crossings of partnered fathers with co-resident children. Inline with exchange-related models, findings indicate that men increase both their frequency of border crossing and their time in women’s territory as the employment status of their partner increases and then exceeds their own. Yet during the nighttime men’s border crossings decrease as women’s employment status reaches parity, with stay-at-home fathers crossing proportionately less in the nighttime than fathers in all other earner categories. The methodological benefits of using time as a model variate are discussed as are the implications of this research for gender equality within the household.