Men time to buckle up, according to a study women still do more household chores
The study examined how household tasks were divided between individuals and their intimate partners across these three life stages, and how housework was influenced by one’s work hours, relative income, marital status and responsibilities towards children.Updated: Sep 27, 2017 17:22 IST
No matter how much they earn in a job, women tend to do more household chores than their male partners, according to a study which shows the persistent gendered nature of division of housework.
The research drew on data collected from over 900 Canadians from adolescence into adulthood. Researchers from the University of Alberta in Canada analysed the questionnaires of participants who had life partners in 1992, 1999 and 2010, when they were 25 (moving into adulthood), 32 (a young adult) and 43 years old (midlife).
They examined how household tasks were divided between individuals and their intimate partners across these three life stages, and how housework was influenced by one’s work hours, relative income, marital status and responsibilities towards children.
The study followed a life course theoretical approach. This perspective emphasizes the salience of social conditions in shaping the way people’s lives unfold over time. It holds that people’s behaviours are informed not only by their own biological development, but also by the work and family responsibilities they negotiate with their intimate partners.
Broader social norms that govern appropriate role ordering and duration are also significant. “Women consistently perform more housework than men do,” said Rebecca Horne from University of Alberta. “Patterns of housework responsibility between men and women tend to be quite consistent at each life stage despite minor fluctuations in the volume of housework chores,” said Horne.
Women and the partner with the lowest income tend to be the ones doing more household tasks when a couple is around 25 years old. Work hours and raising children come into play among 32- year olds, reducing housework involvement. Gender again becomes the biggest predictor of who will do what around the house when couples are in their forties. Such tasks are then generally done by the woman.
“Overall, time, money, and gender variables seem to be important for explaining the division of household labour, albeit to varying intensities depending on stage in the life course,” said Horne.
First Published: Sep 27, 2017 17:20 IST