Mothers’ Vs. Fathers’ Caregiving Position Differences


Currently, there is no unanimity of opinion among researchers regarding the purely biological basis of the father’s or mother’s behavior toward the infant. The mother’s role is often emphasized as social, not just biological. The cause for this is, among other things, the observation of the behavior of mammals to which humans belong. In most species, the female is involved in carrying and feeding and in the subsequent care and primary socialization of her cub. At the same time, the male provides additional protection and helps with hunting. Examples of this behavior in the wild are, for instance, wolves.


In the modern world, it is common practice for the father to be present at the child’s birth, which helps further establish the primary emotional bond between the parents and the infant. However, it should not be ignored that due to hormonal changes in the mother’s body after childbirth, her commitment to motherhood and attitude toward the child goes to an unprecedentedly high level (Van Holland De Graaf, 2018). It is likewise accepted that many baby reactions, such as crying, babbling, smiling, or grabbing, are natural means of stimulating maternal care. The connection between mother and child established in infancy helps the child’s bond with the mother be more potent than that with the father.


Besides birth and breastfeeding, the father can likewise take care of the child. For example, it has long been common practice for the father to take maternity leave rather than the mother or for the father to perform all major household chores to give the mother more time to rest. In a family with a healthy psychological atmosphere, the child grows up without making a difference between the parents. It can be suggested that in modern times the line between father and mother in terms of caring for children is thinning, discarding stereotypes and biological constraints.


Van Holland De Graaf, J., Hoogenboom, M., De Roos, S., & Bucx, F. (2018). Socio-demographic correlates of fathers’ and mothers’ parenting behaviors. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 27(7), 2315-2327.