Study Suggests Having a Husband Implies 7 Hours More Work
Although the roles in the home are changing, one study has discovered having a husband still implies more work for women.
The title of this article probably caught your attention. Some may read it and question whether having a husband really affects a woman’s workload.
However, we’re simply referring to the inequalities that continue to exist in a lot of homes.
This is something that the University of Michigan wanted to analyze in a study.
The results were very clear and conclusive: Today, women still continue to be responsible for a large part of domestic chores.
Obviously, however, we need to make this very clear: we can’t generalize.
We all know of households where it’s exactly the opposite and the men take care of nearly everything. There are also couples out there that have a near perfect and fair distribution of each family chore.
That said, let’s take a look at the information from this attention-grabbing study.
The Gender Inequalities Between Husband and Wife
This news isn’t exactly…new. In fact, the University of Michigan used a database on family dynamics from the Institute for Social Research that has been compiled since 1968.
The goal was to perform a current study to see how the distribution of household chores has changed over the decades. The results were later published by Reuters agency.
Here’s what they discovered.
Having a Husband and Inequality in Distributing Chores
In spite of the changing times and legal changes that try to reconcile life and family work, men still continue to bring home a higher salary.
This means that, generally, women are the ones who often choose to give up their work and professional responsibilities. They may do this temporarily or definitely. However, they do so to dedicate themselves to raising children and caring for the home.
When conditions are equal – which is to say, when both partners work – generally, women still continue to dedicate more hours a week working at home and with the children.
However, there are differences from generation to generation. Women older than 60 years of age dedicate up to 28 hours a week taking care of the house.
Meanwhile, according to the study, women with three kids also dedicate more time to paying attention to the children and house. They do so much more than their husbands.
The rest of women with partners dedicate an average of seven hours more a week more than their husbands or partners in daily household chores and children, if they have them.
Naturally, it’s also not surprising to know that these differences were much greater in the past. In 1976, for example, the average amount of hours that women dedicated to domestic chores was around 26. Meanwhile, husbands only dedicated an average of six.
Gender Inequality in Caring for Dependents
Overall, this is one of the most relevant facts. After all, most couples find it easier to share and distribute caring for their children.
However, when it comes to paying attention to dependents – either the elderly or family members limitations – the responsibility tends to fall on the woman. Here, we see how tradition and traditional family roles often lead women to be the ones who take care of and pay attention to the family members, along with domestic chores.
However, it’s crucial to point out that each family has its own dynamics. Naturally, there are thousands of men, partners and husbands who take responsibility for this task. However, according to this study, these gender differences continue to be evident.
Changing Consciousness and Educating about Equality
We’ve moved forward a bit since the time when our grandmothers and mothers were limited to caring for children and tending to household chores. Nowadays, having a husband and family doesn’t need to be synonymous with gender inequality.
However, there are other things that we need to keep in mind as well. Most importantly, each couple much reach their own agreements depending on their situation and particular needs.
Household chores should be the responsibilities of both parties if both members work. We should encourage equal conditions and equal investment.
If one party decides to stay at home and care for the kids, allowing the other partner to bring home the money if their job is better is a respectable decision. However, authentic inequality occurs when both partners have equal personal conditions but only one invests and dedicates more time to household and care work while the other “assumes” that this is how the roles should be.
This is not right.
We all need to change our awareness and invest in gender equality and equality between responsibilities and opportunities. The best way to do this is starting in the home.
In addition, it’s time to start teaching and showing children from an early age that we’re all part of the team. Men and women have the same rights, and it’s time we also do the same amount of work.