SHANGHAI, Apr 16 -- CHILDREN in more than 40 percent of families with one full-time parent are looked after by house husbands, a survey conducted by the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences suggests.
The survey covered 742 families in which the mother or the father is a full-time parent.
Of the total, 57.5 percent were full-time mothers and the rest were full-time fathers.
The percentage took researchers by surprise.
"Even full-time mothers disappeared after Liberation in 1949 as women were encouraged to work. But now not only full-time mothers but also full-time fathers have aroused attention from social scientists as the proportion closes," said Bao Leiping who was in charge of the survey.
"It also indicates that local families have diverse forms," she added.
The survey showed that the decision for a husband to become a full-time parent is more often an economic one.
More than 65 percent of full-time fathers surveyed said they were at home because they had no job or had been laid-off.
Nearly 60 percent of the surveyed full-time mothers said they wanted to better educate their children and that their family was already rich enough.
A full-time father surnamed Zhang said he used to have a good position in a court outside the city. In order to live together with his wife who works in Shanghai he passed the examination to study doctoral courses in the city.
"Now that I have more leisure time, I should do more for the family, including taking care of our child. I will surely work again in the future," Zhang said.
Bao said families with full-time parents are often not wealthy.
In the survey, one-third of the sampled full-time parents came from the countryside and they were less satisfied with their family's economic income and living conditions than parents who work.
Bao said parents who choose to be full-time have two extremes. Some have enough money not to work while the others cannot find work.