Is Time Spent on Housework Linked to a Man’s Occupation?

Is Time Spent on Housework Linked to a Man’s Occupation?

According to the old saying, a woman’s work is never done. Though women still do about two-thirds of household chores, the division of labor may depend on what her mate does for a living.

New research by Elizabeth Aura McClintock, a sociologist from the University of Notre Dame, shows that when married or cohabiting men are employed in heavily female occupations – like teaching, childcare work or nursing – they spend more time doing housework, compared to when they are employed in traditionally male jobs. In addition, their wives or partners spend less time doing housework, compared to when the men work in heavily male occupations.

Examining data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics for the years 1981-2009, McClintock also found that when married or cohabiting women work in traditionally female jobs they increase the amount of time they spend on housework, compared to when they are employed in heavily-male occupations, while their husbands or partners decrease the amount of time they spend on this type of activity.

“Importantly, occupational sex composition is largely unrelated to housework for single men or women, suggesting that occupation influences housework through interactions and negotiations between romantic partners,” says McClintock.

She presented the study, “Gender-Atypical Occupations and Time Spent on Housework: Doing Gender or Doing Chores?,” at the 108th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association.

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