A live-in relationship certainly seems to have some advantages over marriage for women, especially with a new study finding that live-in boyfriends do a lot more housework than married men.
The study was carried out by researchers at George Mason University who questioned more than 17,000 people in 28 countries. They found that married men tend to help around the house less than live-in boyfriends.
According to study co-author, sociologist Shannon Davis, the key finding of the study is that it suggests the institution of marriage changes the division of labour.
Couples with an egalitarian view on gender—seeing men and women as equal—are more likely to divide the household chores equally. However, in married relationships, even if an egalitarian viewpoint is present, men still report doing less housework than their wives.
“Marriage as an institution seems to have a traditionalizing effect on couples—even couples who see men and women as equal,” says Davis.
“Our research suggests that couples across many countries are influenced by similar factors when deciding how to divide the housework. It’s the way the society has defined what being married means, the institution itself, that affects behaviour,” she added. Co-authors on the study were Theodore Greenstein and Jennifer Gerteisen Marks of North Carolina State University.
The study is published in the Journal of Family Issues.