Lukáš Sedláèek, M.A.psychology student at the School of Social studies at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic.
To Lukas the stereotypical view of the mother as caregiver and the father as breadwinner is problematic, because it circumscribes and restricts the mother and father as opposites – even when they think they have moved beyond such stereotypes. Labelling care giving as a female role may cause a man to perceive it to be emasculating to care for his child in certain ways and may limit a woman to expressing only one among a myriad of different facets to her personality. She may also be made to feel of lesser value should she be unsuited or unable to perform the traditional role of primary caregiver.
Such stereotypes run the risk of producing various negative outcomes. Not only do they tend to leave the father on the fringes of family life and limit the scope of the child’s interaction with both parents, they may also simultaneously exhaust and stifle the mother.
Lukas wrote his B.A. thesis on the gender identity of working mothers whose husbands care for the children. This thesis was the result of his work on the research programme Caring Fathers (2003-2004). Lukas Sedlacek is a member of the Gender Centre of FSS MU in Brno (www.fss.muni.cz/gender) where he participates in various activities promoting gender equality. His main topics are gender aspects of motherhood and fatherhood, androgynous identities and new forms of masculinities. Currently he is preparing his new research project Social Construction of (a) Sexuality. He is also engaged in several non-academic activities promoting the principles of gender equality – giving public lectures (especially on the topic of active fatherhood) and coordinating various events (e.g. the celebration of International Women´s Day).