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

August 13, 2013

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 when married or cohabiting men are employed in heavily female occupations—like teaching, childcare work, or nursing—they spend more time doing housework, compared to when they are employed in traditionally male jobs. In addition, their wives or partners spend less time doing housework, compared to when the men work in heavily-male occupations.

Examining data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics for the years 1981-2009, McClintock also found that when married or cohabiting women work in traditionally female jobs they increase the amount of time they spend on housework, compared to when they are employed in heavily-male occupations, while their husbands or partners decrease the amount of time they spend on this type of activity.

"Importantly, occupational sex composition is largely unrelated to housework for single men or women, suggesting that occupation influences housework through interactions and negotiations between ," says McClintock.

McClintock will present the study, "Gender-Atypical Occupations and Time Spent on Housework: Doing Gender or Doing Chores?," at the 108th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association.

Explore further: More sex for married couples with traditional divisions of housework

More information: The paper, "Gender-Atypical Occupations and Time Spent on Housework: Doing Gender or Doing Chores?," will be presented on Tuesday, Aug. 13, at 10:30 a.m. EDT in New York City at the American Sociological Association's 108th Annual Meeting.

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