|The chart shows that the husband who earns less than his wife (red line) does relatively less housework as his wife's salary goes up compared to the one who earns more (blue line). [Qdaily.com]|
Balancing the right amount of household chores may hold the key to marital success, according to a recent study by a husband-and-wife academic couple from the U.S.
Dan Cassino, a professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University, and his wife Yasemin Besen-Cassino, from Montclair State University, both conducted a study into how couples' relative salaries affect their willingness to do chores.
They assumed that when women make more than men, men would share a greater amount of housework than before. However, results suggest that they react by doing less, except when it comes to cooking.
Wives: More Earning, More Household Chores
According to data from the research, when the wife plays a role as the main breadwinner, the greater the income disparity, the less housework the husband will do.
If the wife earns more, the husband will do an extra 11 minutes housework per day for every extra 1,000 dollars per week she makes. However, if she earns less than he does, every extra 1,000 dollars a week she earns sees him doing 27 minutes of household chores a day more.
When husbands earn less, their gender role is threatened, and they refuse to do more housework, speculated the Cassinos.
The Exception of Cooking: the "Working-Leisure" Housework
Cooking is the only exception.
In Cassino's study, from 2002-2010, men upped the amount of time they spent cooking each day. The more money their wives earned, the more time the men spent cooking.
The study's authors finally hope that with the current cooking trend among men, cleaning, childcare and other household chores will eventually become neutral-gendered someday.
Disappointing Current Situation: Stubborn Gender Distribution in Domestic Sphere
However, other studies imply that the current situation may be not as positive as the Cassinos predict.
According to a survey from Pew Research Center in 2007, lack of appropriate housework distribution tends to lead to family quarrels.
Nowadays, though couples commonly share the housework between them, women still do more than men in most middle-class families. Recent data says husbands spend 18 percent of their time doing 33 percent of the household chores, whereas wives tend to spend 22 percent of their time doing 67 percent of housework.
Besides, past research by psychologists at Rutgers University has shown that when one spouse is promoted, both the man and the woman feel they can do less housework and childcare.
The researchers said that women do more household chores when they earn more and face the double pressure from both their workplace and domestic domain.
There is still a long way to go to change the traditional gender distribution in terms of household chores, say experts.
(Source: QDaily/ Translated and edited by Women of China)
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