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Sharing housework may lead to divorce

Couples who share housework duties run a higher risk of divorce than couples where the woman does most of the chores, a Norwegian study says.

india Updated: Sep 30, 2012 01:19 IST

Couples who share housework duties run a higher risk of divorce than couples where the woman does most of the chores, a Norwegian study says. The divorce rate among couples who shared housework equally was around 50% higher than among those where the woman did most of the work. “The more a man does in the home, the higher the divorce rate,” said Thomas Hansen, co-author of the study entitled — Equality in the Home. Researchers found no, or very little, cause-and-effect. Rather, they saw in the correlation a sign of “modern” attitudes.

“Modern couples perceive marriage as they do their chores, as being less sacred,” Hansen said, stressing it was all about values. “In these couples, women also have a high level of education and a well-paid job, which makes them less dependent on their spouse financially. They can manage much well if they divorce,” he said.

There were only some marginal aspects where researchers said there may be cause-and-effect. “Maybe it’s sometimes seen as a good thing to have very clear roles with lots of clarity,” Hansen suggested.

In Norway, which has a long tradition of gender equality, child-rearing is generally shared equally between mothers and fathers (in seven out of 10 couples), said Hansen. The study also pointed out however that those women were largely satisfied with the situation, and their overall happiness was very close to those women who lived in “modern” couples.