Economic Woman

Econometrics, gender, equity and more.

Posts Tagged ‘housework

Chores and Marriage

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Things are a little slow this week due to a couple exams and a research deadline. (In related news, I think I’ve decided that macro isn’t my thing.) Posts should pick up next week.

A study shows that married women do seven extra hours of housework, and married men do one hour less. That’s a net increase of five hours. It’s a wonder anyone gets married. But wait, what do they mean by chores?

Other activities such as home repairs, mowing the lawn, and shoveling (sic) snow were not in the study. “Items such as gardening are usually viewed as more enjoyable; the focus here is on core housework,” says Stafford.

Now there’s a gendered view of housework. Traditionally male pursuits are “the fun chores.” First off, I know no one who enjoys shovelling. And I know more than one person who loves vacuuming. Let’s give those wayward husbands (or wives) credit for doing the “fun” chores too. In any case, unless the study is missing ten hours of yard work, there’s a significant gap:

Based on 2005 data, which have been compared to those from national time diaries, the research shows women, of all ages with no children, on average do 10 hours of housework a week before marriage and 17 hours of housework a week after marriage. Men of all ages with no children, on the other hand, do eight hours before marriage and seven hours afterwards.

These numbers don’t automatically distinguish between exploitation and a mutually beneficial division of labour. I’d be more interested in a study which adds up housework hours and hours spent in conventional employment – I bet the women would still be working longer then.

(Hat tip to Feministing.)

Written by Allison

4 May 2008 at 11:58 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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