Huffington Post

by Brad Harrington / June 17, 2015

Getty Images, the large American stock photo agency based in Seattle which supplies images for the media, creative professionals, and businesses, decided it was “time to give masculinity a makeover” according to Kristina Monllos’s article which appeared in ADWEEK on June 11th. Getty Images has curated a new collection of images that redefine traditional representations of masculinity.

Every June for the past six years, my colleagues and I at the Boston College Center for Work & Family, have published a new report in The New Dad series on the changing role of fathers in America. It may be a rare point in time when the ivory tower academics and the Mad Men of the advertising industry are tracking with one another, but long before hearing about the new Getty collection and its aim to paint a new image of fathers, we had decided to call this year’s report The New Dad: A Portrait of Today’s Father. We, too, had decided that it was time to hit re-set in terms of how people think about today’s dads.

Each year, the Center has looked at fathers (in our research with mainly college educated, white-collar men) from a different perspective — dads of young infants, professional dads in large corporations, at-home dads, etc., and with each year our depiction becomes fuller and richer. In a departure from conducting primary research, this year we have synthesized our previous five years of research with that of some of North America’s leading fatherhood scholars to paint a portrait of today’s fathers. What are some of the highlights of the portrait that we share in this year’s report?

  • Dads today are much more hands-on and engaged with their children than fathers were a generation ago. They no longer see their role solely or even primarily as a breadwinner. The majority want to share parenting responsibilities equally with their spouse but know that their actions are not yet aligned with their aspirations.

  • Men in same-sex couples have significantly higher satisfaction with the division of household and childcare responsibilities than those in traditional marital arrangements. Our friends at Families and Work Institute report that since tasks in same-sex couples cannot be divided solely on the basis of traditional gender roles, more conversations occur about how the responsibilities are fulfilled. Couples who have conversations about household responsibilities have a higher satisfaction with the division of labor.


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