Men’s housework load doubled in three decades

April 5th, 2008 - 3:59 pm ICT by admin  

New York, April 5 (IANS) The hours women spend on housework has dropped by almost 30 percent in the past three decades while for men the number has more than doubled. According to a new national study in the US that compared housework patterns in 1976 and 2005, the average number of hours women spent on housework every week has dropped from 26 to 17 in this period, while for men it has risen from six to 13 hours.

The study, by researchers at the University of Michigan, is based on data from the “Panel Study of Income Dynamics” conducted since 1968 by the university’s Institute for Social Research.

The study also found that having a husband adds an extra seven hours of housework for women, while, for men, a wife saves about an hour of housework a week.

The study also looked at just the last 10 years, comparing how much housework single men and women in their 20s did in 1996 with how much they did in 2005 if they stayed single versus if they got married.

Both the men and the women who got married did more housework than those who stayed single, the analysis showed, according to Frank Stafford who led the study.

“Marriage is no longer a man’s path to less housework,” he said.

Single women in their 20s and 30s did the least housework - about 12 hours a week on an average, while married women in their 60s and 70s did the most - about 21 hours a week.

Men showed a somewhat different pattern. Older men did more housework than younger men, but single men did more in all age groups than married men.

Married women with more than three kids did an average of about 28 hours of housework a week. Married men with more than three kids, by comparison, logged only about 10 hours of housework a week.

“It’s a well-known pattern,” said Stafford. “There’s still a significant re-allocation of labour that occurs at marriage - 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.”

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