Fixing Parental Leave: The Six Month Solution
New York University Press
January 2020

Gayle Kaufman, Nancy and Erwin Maddrey Professor of Sociology and Gender & Sexuality Studies at Davidson College, has published a new book titled, Fixing Parental Leave: The Six Month Solution.

This book examines why the US lags so far behind the rest of the world on paid parental leave and how this policy is wrapped up with questions about our commitment to gender equality and the welfare of our families.

Fixing Parental Leave takes an in-depth look at parental leave policies in the US, the UK, and Sweden, and evaluates the benefits and drawbacks of leave policies in each country. There is more to parental leave policies than whether a country provides time off around the birth or adoption of a child. While most policies are designed to help women return to work, this is only half of the puzzle. The second half requires men to be meaningful partners by encouraging them to take equal time at home. The book proposes six months of paid parental leave for each parent.

Table of Contents


  1. The US is way behind the rest of the world
  2. Parental leave is good
  3. Too much parental leave is not good
  4. Fathers as partners, not helpers
  5. The UK is not a good model
  6. The Swedish model is great – but not perfect

Conclusion: the six month solution

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