Paternity leave and the gender pay gap

We've no particular institutional view on paternity leave. We are after all liberals so how people wish to order their lives is up to them. We'll not therefore insist that people should, or should not, follow any particular form or fashion in familial life.

We will though comment upon claims which are obviously untrue. Such as this:

The first thing to understand is that fathers and mothers want the same thing.

Of course both desire many of the same things, a healthy child and all that. But in terms of work and time off, career development and so on we know that this isn't true. For we know about the gender pay gap.

It's taken a long time, as all such socially awkward revelations do, but it is now generally agreed - among those who have thought at least - that the gender pay gap stems from different, on average, reactions to the arrival of children across the genders.

Men and women aren't paid different sums, mothers and fathers earn different amounts, the differences coming from their own choices about how they wish to order their lives once that exalted status has been reached. As we say, took a long time to get here but we are all now acknowledging reality.

But given that this is reality then it cannot be true that mothers and fathers - on average, always on average across those populations - desire the same things concerning children, work, time off and leave.  

We really do think that it's worth having a shufti at reality before trying to design policy you know....