Women Who Make More Still in Charge of Chores

No matter how many hours they work, women are doing the bulk of work
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2015 11:48 AM CST
Women Who Make More Still in Charge of Chores
In this Oct. 17, 2014 photo, dishes and garbage sit in a kitchen sink.   (AP Photo/David Goldman)

It doesn't matter how much they work or how much they are paid—women still do the vast majority of the housework. This according to a study published in the journal Work, Employment and Society. It was a small one: 36 partnered women and 12 partnered men were interviewed; all had at least one child under the age of 14 and all worked full-time, defined as at least 30 hours. Standout findings:

  • Roughly half of the women worked 50% or more of the total paid hours logged in their household; only one of those women reported that her partner took the lead in terms of housework.

  • Fifteen of the women earned 60% or more of the household's total income; of these, 67% still had the main responsibility when it came to housework. Only one reported her partner doing the most; the rest shared the load.
  • Of the 16 females who earned between 40% and 59% of the total income, none reported having a partner that did the most. Six said it was shared, and 10 said they had the main responsibility.
Writes Dr. Clare Lyonette, "Our interviews also showed some evidence of a larger contribution by men in lower-earning families, in comparison with men in higher-earning families. Even in those households where the woman was reported to do more... men still seemed to do substantially more than professional/managerial men who were reported as 'sharing'." Either way, women are still doing the bulk of the work—and in a University of Warwick press release, Lyonette says part of this may be that women help perpetuate the stereotype that men "are unable to complete housework to an acceptable standard." To wit, another study found that women spend 3 hours a week just re-doing men's chores. (More chores stories.)

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