lunes, 25 de julio de 2016

Listening test: Stay-at-home dads

Listen to this piece on stay-at-home dads and choose the option A, B or C which best completes each sentence.

1. The number of stay at home dads in the U.S. has
A. doubled.
B. tripled.
C. quadrupled.

2. Economists suggest that today's stay-at-home dads
A. are less educated than working fathers.
B. lost their jobs during the recessions.
C. place a higher priority on relationships than on money.

3. According to the text, one reason women are earning more money now than in the past is
A. jobs performed by women are currently in high demand.
B. laws guaranteeing fairer salaries for women.
C. more women are graduating from college.

4. Being a stay-at-home dad can be good because a father's parenting style
A. develops a child's confidence.
B. is less emotionally involved.
C. is more comforting and reassuring for the child.

5. Working mothers
A. connect well with their children.
B. find it difficult to engage with their children.
C. tend not to have much influence on their children’s upbringing.

6. Stay-at-home dads
A. are likely to lack social recognition.
B. are often unable to go back to their professional lives.
C. usually have little self-esteem.

7. The most satisfied stay-at-home dads are dads
A. who also work from home.
B. who have chosen to stay home.
C. whose wives earn a very comfortable salary.

In the past, being a stay-at-home dad was borderline unthinkable, but recent statistics show that in the past twenty years, the number of stay-at-home dads has doubled in the U.K. and tripled in the U.S. Although families in which the father stays home still represent a very small percentage, the rapid growth may indicate the early stages of a trend.
Economists have speculated that men who were laid off during the two recent recessions have been unable to find another job, thus leaving their wives as the sole breadwinners. Also, according to a recent study in the U.S., 28% of women now earn higher salaries than their husbands; this makes the prospect of being a stay-at-home dad more financially feasible. Women’s increased earning power is thanks to a higher number of female college graduates – and this trend is bound to increase, as women now outnumber men in American universities.
Researchers have suggested that having a stay-at-home dad may actually be better for the child, because a father’s parenting style can be more beneficial for the child’s development in the early years. While mothers usually comfort and reassure kids who are sad or frustrated, fathers tend to encourage a more proactive approach to coping with the situation. This helps the child become more confident and emotionally stable.
In addition, studies have shown that mothers who work outside the home frequently engage with their children despite having a full-time job. This is not the case for men – when the father works full-time, he tends to have little influence or connection with his children. This leads to the conclusion that having a working mother and a stay-at-home dad is the best way for children to form equally strong bonds with both parents.
There are a few cons to reversing the stereotypical gender roles. Stay-at-home dads may face a lack of social support or even be ridiculed for their role in the family. Stay-at-home dads might also struggle with their own self-esteem, feeling that they are less manly because they perform the activities traditionally done by women. Some also worry that they will fall behind in their professional lives, as they are folding laundry and changing diapers while their peers are climbing the career ladder.
In general, men who have made the conscious choice to be stay-at-home dads are more satisfied with their status than men who have been forced into the role due to a layoff.
It is clear that being a stay-at-home dad is a complex issue. From a gender equality standpoint, the fact that men now feel more comfortable taking on this role is certainly positive. However, stay-at-home dads continue to face unique challenges, as this family arrangement is still far from being the norm.

1B 2B 3C 4A 5A 6A 7B

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