It’s official! What we have always known has been confirmed. For married women, husbands create a whole lot of extra housework – up to seven hours per week. Having a wife, on the other hand, saves their hubbies a whole hour.
They’re the findings of a University of Michigan Institute of Research (ISR) survey that looked at the time diaries of American men and women within marriages, and how much time they spent doing everyday chores around the home.
The research was based on this diary data between 1968-2005 and, though it shows the amount of housework done by women in the United States has dropped considerably since 1968, there is still a significant difference between the sexes.
In 1976, for example, women performed an average of 26 hours of housework every week, while men did about six hours. By 2005, women were doing an average of 17 hours of housework each week and men were doing about 13 hours.
“There’s still a significant re-allocation of labour that occurs at marriage.” Said ISR economist Frank Stafford, who headed the study. which, strangely, doesn’t provide any data that backs up their claim that husbands actually create an extra seven hours of housework a week, nor that wives benefit their hubbies’ lives by an hour.
“Men tend to work more outside the home, while women take on more of the household labour. Certainly there are all kinds of individual differences here, but in general, this is what happens after marriage. And the situation gets worse for women when they have children.”
The research also looked at whether age and the number of children affected how many hours each person put into housework per week.
It found that single women in their 20s and 30s did the least amount of housework, around 12 hours per week. Married women in the 60s or 70s did the most which was around 21 hours a week.
Men displayed a different pattern, with older men doing more housework than younger men.
Single men did more housework in all age groups than married men.
Now it seems that trends are shifting towards a fairer allocation of housework between males and females in heterosexual relationships, which is fantastic. It’s about time!
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