A man’s occupation linked to time spent on housework, study finds

Author: Susan Guibert

housework

A woman’s work is never done — or so the saying goes. 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 University of Notre Dame Sociologist Elizabeth Aura McClintock shows that married or cohabiting men employed in heavily female occupations — such as teaching, child care or nursing — increase the time they spend doing housework, while their wives or partners decrease the time they spend on housework.

Examining data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics for the years 1981-2009, McClintock found that not only do men in heavily female occupations increase the amount of time spent on housework, but that the same is true for their wives or partners: married or cohabiting women in traditionally female jobs spend more time on housework while their husbands or partners decrease the amount of time spent.

“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.

McClintock presented the study, “Gender-Atypical Occupations and Time Spent in Housework: Doing Gender or Doing Chores?” at the American Sociological Association annual meeting on Aug. 13 (Tuesday).

Contact: Elizabeth Aura McClintock, 574-631-6463, emcclint@nd.edu