If my wife and I divorced, who would get the kid?
Obviously, if only for mental health reasons, this isn't the sort of hypothetical I want to spend any significant proportion of my time worrying about. But I'll admit it did flit across my mind while reading the recent Pew paper The Rise of Single Fathers. The report shows a massive, ninefold increase in single dads raising their kids, from around 297,000 in 1960 to 2.6 million today.
There are a number of factors that have contributed to this change. Some are the same factors that have contributed to the rise of single mothers. Divorce rates have stabilized, but they're still way higher than they were in the 1960s. Out-of-wedlock births are more common and less stigmatized than they used to be, too. Marriage has, since 1960, gotten less stable, and single parenting has gotten more accepted. As a result, you've got more single parents, of whatever gender, raising kids.
But single dads haven't just increased in absolute numbers. They've also increased as a percentage of all single parents. Back in 1960, single dads made up only 14 percent of single-parent headed households. Today that number has climbed to 24 percent--almost a quarter. Men's rights advocates would have you believe that feminism has systematically prevented men from gaining custody of children. Yet, according to this data at least, it seems like the (limited, but real) feminist gains of the last 50 years have actually coincided with greater parity. It's hard to say whether this is correlation or causation, but either way, it looks like folks who want more men getting custody should be rooting for more feminism, not less.