Legislation comes into force today that helps new dads stay at home with their babies longer – but most don't want to because they fear losing money and career status.
Fathers had previously been allowed two weeks off, but under new rules parents with babies born from April can share 50 weeks between them.
This means mums could return to work after just two weeks while dads could stay at home for nearly a year after the birth.
But a survey of 2,000 men and women in work and under 50 by job site Glassdoor found 42 per cent of men would still rather take the minimum period allowed.
Only one in four men said parental leave should be shared evenly between mother and father.
He said: "Pay is the main factor. We know that for men to take advantage of these sort of things they need to be able to afford to do so.
"Is status anxiety an issue? Yes. You've got to feel confident that if you do this it's not going to mess your career up."
The survey also found one in three men aged between 18 and 24 backed greater equality, compared to one in five men aged 45 and over.
But research by outsourcing company ADP showed a third of workers within the age group most likely to have children intended to take advantage of the new legislation.
Up to 50 weeks' leave and 37 weeks of pay can be shared. Couples can take leave at the same time or separately.
Despite the new rights, Mr Davies said: "We'd like to see something a bit more ambitious based on the Nordic model.
"Men would be given their own automatic paternity leave which would be lost to family if he didn't take it, and it would have to be paid at a decent rate, the current level is less than the minimum wage."
What do you think? Would you or your partner take paternity leave?
More on Parentdish: Paternity leave? Who could afford to take a Daddy Month