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Swedish men happy to focus on family: study

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 31 Oct 2010, 07:58

Published: 31 Oct 2010 07:58 GMT+01:00

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The latest Work Life survey of 8,000 Swedes indicates that as many as 62 percent of men are prepared to give up their careers for a couple of years in favour of their partners, while only 39 percent of women could consider doing the same.

Among those born in the 1940s and 1950s, as many as 70 percent could consider easing off at work to support their partners, the survey commissioned by staffing firm Manpower Sweden showed.

"The survey indicates a new attitude among Swedish men which will probably affect equality in the labour market in a positive manner," said Peter Lundahl, Manpower Sweden CEO.

A recent survey by the website Familjeliv received attention for suggesting that Swedish mums would like to spend more time with their kids, with half of respondents expressing a belief that other women would rather be housewives if they could.

The Familjeliv survey was reported in some media to indicate a new "housewife wave", and the new survey by Manpower has been taken to indicate that Swedish men are of a similar mind.

Men born in the 1960s and 1970s dominate those prepared to accept being financed by a partner - with 28 percent prepared to allow someone else to foot the bill. Among women the figures are lower - with only 10 percent of women born in the 1940s and 1950s, for example, prepared to give up their own incomes.

Among younger people the difference between women and men are less pronounced.

The survey indicated however that a majority of Swedes are prepared to work extra to meet higher demand and almost as many are prepared to educate themselves in their free time in order to get ahead in their careers.

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Every other Swedish man is prepared to be available on their holidays and more men that women are prepared to move in order to find work.

When it comes to having children, 34 percent of women and 40 percent of men are prepared to wait in order to advance in their careers. There are meanwhile few parents who would be prepared to spend less time with their children in order to focus on their careers.

The Manpower Work Life survey is Sweden's largest labour market panel which continually reports Swedish attitudes to work, pay, and all that is important in life. The panel consists of some 20,000 people made up of a cross-section of Swedish society.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:12 October 31, 2010 by Douglas Garner
Comments from the generations born in the 40s and 50s are not particularly relevant as most of us are nearing or have reached the age of retirement. I cannot understand any benefit in their inclusion unless they were made 20 or more years ago, and at that point I suspect they would have been quite different.
09:27 October 31, 2010 by izbz
Kept men really sound like a nicer version of gigolo. But if they have children at home, mayb I could understand. I wonder why can't they just use the word 'Househusband' instead.

They could really make a good living in Hong Kong and Macau as a gigolo if they are really good looking
10:09 October 31, 2010 by Tutu
No wonder why Anna Anka detest and have no respect for them
11:02 October 31, 2010 by sendia
My first thought was just about what Douglas Garner said. What a poorly structured survey, I doubt how accurate it is
11:37 October 31, 2010 by conboy
As a an immigrant guy who bought into the Swedish jämnställdhet bollox and stayed at home with the kids while my ex wife did the career climb - I can say two things regarding this which are indisputable in three and a half years running my own business and being contracted out as a consultant/worker at many swedish work places 1. I have yet to meet a single Swedish man who has spent the length of time "supporting" his spouse from home - 2. Swedish women however liberal their political image might be cannot tolerate a man who is a better parent than themselves.
11:38 October 31, 2010 by Swedesmith
Depends on who's keeping you. Jessica Alba can keep me anytime she wants to.
11:50 October 31, 2010 by Dr. Dillner
My wife and I both work and both rear our children. This situation has nothing to do with what the Swedish government or society wills. I would rather society stay out of the home and let people run their own lives.
21:53 October 31, 2010 by Russ Cobleigh
like most men from Europe, they go from mom to wives, without having to be on their own. It is just plain laziness!
09:14 November 1, 2010 by MorbidMiss
Perhaps, Conboy, she just did not appreciate your attitude that you were the better parent because you were staying home and she wasn't?

Now I do stay home and I do think that someone should. It would probably put less strain on the Swedish Taxes if more people were ABLE to take care of their own kids rather than put them in daycare... but I would not go as far as to say they are bad parents for not doing so. I stay home and take care of my husband (who has various injuries) and four children... at that rate it would be cheaper for me to stay home rather than pay for daycare in the States.
11:25 November 1, 2010 by trackmeifyoucan
Count me in !
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