She Works/He Works: How Two-Income Families Are Happier, Healthier, and Better-Off

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9780062510808: She Works/He Works: How Two-Income Families Are Happier, Healthier, and Better-Off
Review:

Well, surprise. Flex time, quality child care and family leave aren't just women's issues. Work is as important to women. But, then, we knew that didn't we? Now it's been documented. At last we have concrete facts to debunk that old corporate "conventional wisdom."

From Kirkus Reviews:

A significant and unabashedly optimistic assessment of two- income families, expressed in lively, straightforward prose. The stressed-out, harried working wife and mother so often reported in the media is a myth, according to Harvard psychologist Barnett and journalist Rivers, who have written several books on women and society. Based on the findings of a study of 600 working- and middle-class subjects in the Boston area, Barnett and Rivers (coauthors of Beyond Sugar and Spice: How Woman Grow, Learn, and Thrive, 1979, etc.) contend that husbands, wives, and children in two-income families are doing just fine. Unlike 40 years ago when the male breadwinner and the female homemaker were the ``natural order of things,'' today 60 percent of all couples are two-earner couples, and traditional roles have relaxed. Men today are contributing more to housework and are more involved in day-to-day child-rearing tasks; the result is happier fathers. As for working mothers, they are for the most part less stressed than stay-at-home mothers and don't spend any less ``quality'' time with their children. Instead of two separate halves with distinct roles, today's dual-earner marriage is a partnership wherein husband and wife ``enrich their respective lives.'' And, of course, the increased income that a two-earner family provides is often a necessity in today's shaky economy. Given this reality, the authors further explore what steps may be taken to help dual-earner couples deal with the pressures that inevitably arise. Their proposals include encouraging parental leave; developing a sick-leave policy that includes fatherhood in the equation; providing extended vacation time; and creating workplaces free of sexual harassment. With striking statistics and engrossing case studies, Barnett and Rivers deliver a timely and lucid exposition of the contemporary American family. -- Copyright 1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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