Husbands Do Less Housework
International Survey Shows Married Men Do Less Housework Than Their Wives
WebMD News Archive
Aug. 29, 2007 -- It may not come as a shock to most couples, but a new study
shows that men, especially married men, do less housework than women.
Researchers surveyed 17,000 men and women in 27 countries, including the
U.S. The survey shows that men did an average of about nine and a half hours of
housework per week compared with an average of more than 21 hours per week
But even more noteworthy, researchers say, is that married men did
significantly less housework than men who lived with their girlfriends but were
Those results suggest that marriage as an institution may have an effect on
how people behave in a relationship.
"Marriage as an institution seems to have a traditionalizing effect on
couples -- even couples who see men and women as equal," researcher Shannon
Davis of George Mason University says in a news release.
Men Don’t Do Dishes
In the study, published in the Journal of Family Issues, researchers
compared the division of household labor among married and cohabitating
The survey was conducted in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile,
Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel,
Latvia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia,
Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K., and the U.S.
Overall, men reported performing 32% of total housework and women reported
74%. The results were based on how much housework each participant said they
did, and only one member of each couple was questioned.
Men and women in Sweden, Norway, and Finland reported the most equitable
division of housework, and these countries had the highest percentage of
cohabitating couples in the study.
Researchers say couples with an egalitarian view of gender are more likely
to share housework equally, but the results showed that even couples who viewed
each other as equal partners did not share the housework equally.
Instead, the results suggest that marriage changes the division of household
labor among couples.
"Our research suggests that couples across many countries are influenced
by similar factors when deciding how to divide the housework," says Davis.
"It's the way the society has defined what being married means, the
institution itself, that affects behavior."