W. Bradford Wilcox, the University of Virginia sociologist who has inflamed feminist ideologues with his statistical studies showing that stay-at-home wives are happy wives, now reports the following:

The August issue of Journal of Marriage and Family has an article [sorry–the full text isn’t online] reporting that children who were raised in homes where their mothers worked throughout their childhood are significantly more likely to say that their mothers and fathers were less affectionate and involved, more permissive, and more physically and verbally abusive, compared to children raised by stay-at-home mothers. Furthermore, boys were much more likely to report problems growing up in a dual-earner family than were girls.

The article by sociologists Kei Nomaguchi and Melissa Milkie, asks why boys raised in two-job households seem to suffer more than girls, and why fathers’ parenting abilities seem to deteriorate when mothers work. To those questions, Wilcox offers the following answers on the Family Scholars blog:

…I would speculate that fathers often rely on the advice, support, and (constructive) criticism of their wives when they engage their children as fathers. Men who do not have wives who are able to fully focus on parenting may get less advice, support, and constructive criticism. I’d further speculate, along with the authors, that the stress associated with balancing two careers, childrearing, and marriage can prove burdensome for not only women but also men….

I would speculate that boys are typically more energetic and aggressive than girls and, accordingly, can be more difficult to rear. As the authors suggest, ‘When both parents are employed, job stress and marital conflict may increase the occasions when mothers and fathers get frustrated by their children’s misbehaviors and when they may respond to their children harshly.’ Such ‘occasions’ may be more common with boys than girls.

I can’t wait to see what the “ain’t no war against boys here” crowd makes of all this.