Taiwanese men willing to be househusbands: survey

SOCIAL NORMS::Nearly half of the male respondents said that social judgements would be their biggest concern if they were to become a stay-home father

By Yang Chiu-ying and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Thu, Dec 06, 2012 - Page 3

Taiwanese men appear to have gradually thrown off the shackles of their traditional roles as the breadwinners in the family. According to a recent survey by online job board yes123, about 60 percent of male respondents said they are willing to live as stay-at-home husbands while their wives go to work.

The survey, conducted from Nov. 22 to Nov. 29, found that Taiwanese society could be close to reaching gender equality at home, with 58.5 percent of male respondents willing to be a househusband.

This figure is just slightly lower than female respondents’ willingness to be a housewife at 60.5 percent.

However, as many as 48.4 percent of male respondents said social judgements would remain their biggest concern if they were to become a stay-home father.

This was followed by the perceptions of their parents-in-law (46.6 percent), the attitude of their wife (38.5 percent), financial stress in the family (33.4 percent) and alienation from society (25.6 percent).

On the other hand, female respondents mostly worried about losing touch with society (55.9 percent), with others voicing concerns about the attitude of their husband (53.6 percent), the family budget (43.5 percent) and financial considerations (43.1 percent).

Social judgement was only seventh among female respondents’ top 10 concerns about the idea of becoming stay-at-home mothers.

Despite the change in mindset, more than half of men ─ 54 percent ─ would still feel pressure if their wives brought home larger paychecks than themselves, compared with only 20 percent of women who viewed this as a problem.

When asked to gauge what constitutes a stressful salary gap between between husbands and wives, 33 percent of those surveyed said a gap of more than NT$40,000, while 16 percent of respondents said between NT$10,000 and NT$15,000.

Meanwhile, the survey found that men tend to be less tolerant of husband-wife income disparities.

A gap of NT$3,000 is enough to make 15 percent of male respondents feel pressure, while only 12 percent of female respondents said they would feel stressed about a salary differential of between NT$10,000 and NT$15,000.

According to the survey, male respondents were adverse to their spouse having a strong personality or short temper.

Female respondents echoed that sentiment, saying it was harder to deal with a partner’s quick temper and strong personality rather than income differences.