TitleMen's Caregiving: Gender and the Contingent Character of Care
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsGallagher, SK, Gerstel, N
JournalGender & Society
Pagination197 - 217
Date Published2001
ISBN Number0891-2432

This article extends recent scholarship on masculinity by analyzing the effects of social structure, social relations, and gendered caregiving ideology on the care men give to kin and friends. To be sure, men spend significantly less time giving care than do women. However, much variation is contingent on the women in men's lives: It is primarily the characteristics of men's families (including wives' caregiving; the presence of young children, especially daughters; and the availability of siblings, especially sisters) more than employment or gendered caregiving ideology that shape the amount and kind of caregiving men provide. Our findings suggest that although men's caregiving is variable and socially patterned, it is contingent on women: Wives and daughters pull men into caregiving, while adult sisters substitute for them.