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On Thursday, Statistics Canada issued one of its like-clockwork reminders that women perform far more housework and child care than their male partners.“Changes in parents’ participation in domestic tasks and care for children from 1986 to 2015” surveyed opposite-sex and same-sex couples who were married or living common-law with at least one child 17 or younger.

There’s another way of looking at a seeming stall on the domestic front: that the culture, and women, buy into the notion of a “domestic power premium” that dates to the 19th century.

Stats presented on men’s involvement in child care seem to exist at a disconnect from a culture in which fathers increasingly are primary caregivers and speak publicly about the joys of parenting (even though few Canadian fathers take time off for paternity leave).

The survey found that nearly 49 per cent of fathers provided help and care to their children in 2015, up from 33 per cent in 1986.

According to Stats Can, that time increase is driven by men being more likely to prepare meals: some 59 per cent of fathers reported helping to make meals in 2015, up from 29 per cent in 1986.

For this, in part, we can thank the Food Network and the emergence of the “hot male chef”.

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