69% of Americans say dads need paid paternity leave, study shows

All Americans don’t have access to paid family leave, but a new Pew Research Center study shows they want it — for moms and dads.

A Pew survey of U.S. adults published Thursday shows 82% of Americans think mothers should have paid maternity leave and 69% of fathers should have paid paternity leave. Those surveyed who favor paid maternity and paternity leave say moms should receive about 8.6 weeks and dads should have about 4.3 weeks.

The report showed fathers take an average of one week following the birth or adoption of a child and mothers take 11. More than half of those who took leave said they took less than they needed or wanted to.

Younger adults are more in favor of paid paternity leave than seniors, according to the Pew study. Eighty-two percent of people ages 18 to 29 said fathers should receive paid leave compared with 55% of people 65 and older who said the same.

Those views align with ideas about who provides better care for a baby. Young adults are more likely to say mothers and fathers are equally good at caring for a baby while older adults say mom is best.

Juliana Horowitz, associate director of research on the study, said while past studies show Americans want paid leave, this study also unpacks who they want to pay for it.

Most paid leave supporters think companies, as opposed to the government, should cover the cost, the survey shows. (A study released last winter by Paid Leave for the United States showed more than half of America's 60 biggest employers offer no paid family leave or will not disclose family leave policy.)

Currently, the Family Medical Leave Act, gives women 12 weeks job-protected unpaid leave, but many workers don't qualify for that. Twelve percent of U.S. non-government workers have access to paid family leave, according to the Department of Labor.

Follow Ashley May on Twitter: @AshleyMayTweets

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USA TODAY


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