Fathers Day 2012: Are Dads Worth Less Than Moms?

PHOTO: Insure.com says that dads are worth less than moms based on the work they do at home.
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With Father's day around the corner, the last thing a father wants to hear is that he's valued less at home than mom.

But according Insure.com's 2012 Father's Day Index, a dad's home front contributions were valued at just over $20,000--nearly one-third of what mom would earn.

Insure.com's index assesses the value of dad's domestic duties based on the hourly compensation individuals receive for performing the same tasks, according to data from Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Turns out, dad's work around the house would earn him a paycheck of $20,248 for the year, up a mere $103 from last year's index.

The site assessed mom's valuation for 2012 at $60,182.

Insure.com assigned more 'fix-it' jobs to dad, and more nurturing jobs to mom in the index.

The site lists dad's' jobs to include barbequing, helping with homework, moving furniture, coaching a team, and performing maintenance around the house. Meanwhile, mom's jobs at home included shopping for her family, nursing wounds, giving haircuts, and cleaning up.

But the way in which home roles corresponded to waged employment do not necessarily correlate.

One of mom's jobs was finding up what the kids were up to. For this task, she earned $869 annually, which was extrapolated from BLS earnings of private detectives and investigators.

Also, moms and dads performing the same jobs for the same amount of time would earn different wages.

Based on the index, a father would earn $12.03 hourly for driving the kids, which Insure.com estimates he'd perform 9 hours a week for 52 weeks out of the year. However, a mom performing the same tasks for the same amount of time would earn $13.83 an hour, according to the website.

There were no projections for how much it would cost to hire a babysitter under "jobs" for dad, a task for which mom earned $19,196 annually, nearly all of dad's salary.

The jobs assigned to men versus women in the indices raises issues of gender-bias, says Brad Harrington, executive director at the Boston College Center for Work and Family.

"I think it stresses people's stereotypes of men's roles and women's roles," he said. "Especially without having asked men what they do in their free time, or what they do with the kids when they're home."

Harrington said that while gender roles have not disappeared as to who does what in the home and with the kids, it is often assumed that parenting roles have not changed, when in fact, that is not the case.

In the future, he predicts that the stereotypical differences between men's and women's roles based on gender will change.

"Whether the tasks they do in the household change, those differences will become minimized," he said.

"You'll probably see men investing more time with their families, helping more with homework or feeding the kids, while women's paid work participation will continue to increase."

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