Interesting if long article from the New York Times about the challenges of sharing parenting and household chores.

(2 Posts)
Issy Fri 26-Sep-08 13:57:15

Interesting statistics from the article:

"The most recent figures from the University of Wisconsin’s National Survey of Families and Households show that the average wife does 31 hours of housework a week while the average husband does 14 — a ratio of slightly more than two to one. If you break out couples in which wives stay home and husbands are the sole earners, the number of hours goes up for women, to 38 hours of housework a week, and down a bit for men, to 12, a ratio of more than three to one. That makes sense, because the couple have defined home as one partner’s work.

But then break out the couples in which both husband and wife have full-time paying jobs. There, the wife does 28 hours of housework and the husband, 16. Just shy of two to one, which makes no sense at all.

The lopsided ratio holds true however you construct and deconstruct a family. “Working class, middle class, upper class, it stays at two to one,” says Sampson Lee Blair, an associate professor of sociology at the University at Buffalo who studies the division of labor in families.

“And the most sadly comic data is from my own research,” he adds, which show that in married couples “where she has a job and he doesn’t, and where you would anticipate a complete reversal, even then you find the wife doing the majority of the housework.”"

Sunshinetoast Fri 26-Sep-08 14:31:21

I think in the UK when the Equal Opportunities Commission looked at the time use survey they found that full time working women did more housework than full time working men, but that full time working men worked longer hours than full time working women(on average) and had a longer commute (on average), so actual total hours worked (paid and unpaid) were about equal.

Whether the women doing fewer hours than men because they know they will be stuck with the housework whatever, or whether they are doing the housework because they are home earlier I couldn't say!!

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