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Stonehill College

Publication Date

Spring 2015

Program Name

Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender


This qualitative research study explores Dutch stay-at-home fathers, or “huismannen,” and their everyday experiences with their role and their own masculinity. There has been much research conducted on stay-at-home fathers within other countries and cultures, but the current research significantly lacks the perspective and voices of those within the Dutch culture. To gather these voices, oral history interviews were conducted with five Dutch huismannen, and the collected data were analyzed using gender theory focused on masculinity and current relevant literature. This analysis led to the conclusion that Dutch stay-at-home fathers create and conform to a complicit masculine identity. It was also concluded that two characteristics of this complicit masculine identity, independence and societal membership, are threatened by stay-at-home fatherhood, but by participating in masculine engagements, these fathers managed to protect and maintain their independence, societal membership, and thus, their masculinity. Recommendations for future research conducted on this topic first includes a replication study with a larger sample size, and then includes a focus on generational differences and exploring the children and partner’s views of huismannen.


Community-Based Research | Dutch Studies | Family, Life Course, and Society | Gender and Sexuality | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology of Culture | Work, Economy and Organizations


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