Gay dads around globe get less parental leave than lesbian parents and straight couples
Gay men get significantly less time off than lesbians and straight couples when they become new parents, according to a study released this month that looks at parental leave policies around the world.
The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) study reports that same-sex male couples received five fewer months of paid leave than heterosexual couples while same-sex females received three fewer months than heterosexual couples.
Published in the Journal of Social Policy, the study gives another staggering statistic—gay male couples received the same number of weeks off as different-sex couples in only 12% of the countries studied.
Lesbian couples received equitable time off to heterosexual couples in fewer than 60% of the countries studied. Transgender or gender nonconforming parents were not included in the study.
“A lot of the differences in leave stem from gender stereotypes where women are the primary caregivers,” said lead author Elizabeth Wong in an interview with the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“That not only affects heterosexual couples, it greatly disadvantages same-sex male couples.”
Researchers determined the numbers after studying paternity laws in 33 of the 36 countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The United States is the only country in the OECD to offer zero paid leave to new parents.
Australia, New Zealand, Iceland and Sweden were the only countries to offer the same paid leave to all couples, ranging from 18 to 70 weeks, according to the UCLA study.
Turkey and Israel offered no leave to same-sex couples, and Switzerland offered no parental leave to men.
“Many of these laws have gender unequal assumptions about who is going to provide care and who is going to provide work … we have to undo them,” Jody Heymann, a director at WORLD Policy Analysis Center, told the Thomas Reuters Foundation.
Adoption leave for same-sex couples ranged from zero to 104 weeks, while straight couples received anywhere from seven to 178 weeks off.
The increasing number of far-right government groups around the world poses serious threats to LGBTQ+ rights, notes the study, including the fight for parenthood and adoption rights.
Currently, same-sex marriage is legally recognized in 27 countries.
Homosexuality is illegal 71 countries.