The research is conclusive: the only way to guarantee a happy and successful family is for dads to stay home with their children. Yet, for some reason, many men continue to remain in the workforce, even after fatherhood, honestly believing it to be in the best interest of their household. One has to wonder if these misguided individuals read anything online at all. In report after report, poll after poll, no matter how few people questioned or how unscientific the study, the implications are the same: stay-at-home dads rule and working dads drool.
1. Dads who do the dishes raise the best kids. While it is true that any dad can do dishes, most of them don't. According to a 2013 survey of a whole lot of people by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority of dudes in this country are kind of slackers. Stay-at-home dads, however, must do dishes. It's in the job description. This is important because, according to a highly reported University of British Columbia study (that hasn't actually been published yet), a strong indicator of a girl's ambition is how active her father is in household chores. The study found that it is one thing for men to talk the talk of gender equality, it's quite another to diaper the diaper, launder the laundry, and vacuum the floor. Stay-at-home dads perform all these chores and then some. Though it must be said that, according to informal discussions at a local dad group, "not, like, every day," because that would be "crazy talk, man."
2. Stay-at-home dads create future TED Talkers. It cannot be denied that moms are integral in their child's language development, but recent research, written about by Paul Raeburn in his book Do Fathers Matter? What Science Is Telling Us About the Parent We’ve Overlooked, has come to the conclusion that dads are, wait for it... more important. It is suggested that when fathers converse with their children "they use a broader vocabulary [than mothers], and their children learn new words and concepts as a result." It could be said that this effect is enhanced with stay-at-home dads, who can go for long stretches of time with little to no adult interaction, but still need someone to talk to. Stay-at-home dads often forget that their kids aren't intimately familiar with the Star Wars universe, but they're not surprised when, after many conversations about the subject, one of their little tykes opines that Jar Jar Binks was a complete abomination.
3. Stay-at-home dads keep children the safest. Upon first reading, this may seem counter-intuitive, but Mariana Brussoni, an assistant professor in the Dept. of Pediatrics at the University of British Columbia, makes a compelling argument. Fathers, in general, are more likely than mothers to engage in rough and tumble play with their kids. Thus, the assumption may be that dads are more willing to allow bodily injury to befall their children, or, at least, that they are more willing than moms to take that chance. This is not the case. According to Dr. Brussoni, "children who have the opportunity to engage with risks in a secure setting with minimal hazards and appropriate supervision learn lessons that will serve them in good stead when they encounter risks in the 'real' world." Basically, even though it looks to the casual observer like dads are just goofing off and letting their kids perform dumb and dangerous feats of idiocy, they are actually instilling in their children the ability to properly evaluate the limits of adventurous and enterprising behavior. Stay-at-home dads can teach PhD-level courses in playing perilously close to the edge, without going over (or, in any case, how to fall without breaking anything that won't heal).
4. Stay-at-home dads are better in bed. It all starts with a happy marriage and a healthy sex life. In a poll by Time Money, where I have to assume the guys made sure their wives were not looking at their answers, 44% of men who earn more than their spouses said they have "hot" or "very good" sex. This number jumps to 56% when the ladies brought home more of that bacon. It is thought that the stress of office life makes it difficult for some men to perform. Not a problem for stay-at-home dads. Another theory might be that men are turned on by powerful women who make more money than they do. Nowhere is the reverse-gender pay differential greater than between a working wife and her stay-at-home husband. I do not have the specific data on how "hot" the sex is for stay-at-home dads, but the numbers are pretty easy to extrapolate. My assumption would be that 68% (with a standard deviation of 1%) of stay-at-home dads are satisfied by the temperature of what's going on in the boudoir.
5. Involved fathers have smaller testicles (which makes their penises look bigger). It's true. A study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS for, ah, short), found that involved dads have more modest nads than their deadbeat counterparts. This is a good thing. Sack size has nothing to do with sperm count or testosterone levels, just that the berries are a bit smaller in relation to the stick. Being a stay-at-home dad won't make your penis bigger, but it may make it look bigger. This is not the best reason to become a full time parent, but worse things could happen. And, admittedly, sometimes they do. One of the most agonizing day-to-day experiences of every stay-at-home dad is the constant barrage of tiny elbows, knees, and head-butts to your balls. Trust me, you will want your testes as small and hidden as possible.
Lesser blogs at Amateur Idiot/Professional Dad.