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Men and Women’s Time Spent on Housework Is dependent on Occupation

sjjLmSt8wX7Ir8plREBWAacF6EwVdb348MXIOZXGcxj0AQAATgEAAEpQ_260x196For married and cohabiting people, how to divide housework is an inevitable topic to discuss. A new research published on August 13, at the 108th Annual Meeting of American Sociological Association claims that men and women’s time spent on housework is dependent on their occupations.

Elizabeth Aura McClintock, a sociologist from University of Notre Dame, examined data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics from 1981 to 2009 and found the similar results from married or cohabiting women that those work in traditionally female jobs spend more time on housework, compared to those who are employed in heavily-male jobs.

However, this does not mean that traditionally female jobs have much common characteristics with housework. “Certainly, some traditionally female jobs are closely related with housework, but some male occupations also share the same features, for example, building managers. “ McClintock noted:” Although occupations such as teachers and nurses have some parts associated with taking care of children, these jobs have nothing to do with housework. Some new female occupations such as veterinarians and gynecologists, are totally irrelevant with housework or raising children.”

It should be noted that for single men and women, their time spent on housework has no relationship with their occupations. It suggests that the occupations’ influence on housework distribution is generated through interaction and communication between man and woman in a family. “Since this effect depends on love relationship, it does not work for single people.” McClintock said.

So, would men employed in traditionally female jobs be more favorable by women due to their strengths in doing housework? “In another research, I found that the possibility of getting married for a man having a traditionally female job is likely to be low.” McClintock said:” Thus, if men’s jobs are not traditionally male occupations, maybe they have to afford the loss in love.”

Currently, there are still two thirds of housework are done by women. McClintock noted:” As the sexual isolation in occupation continuous to be reduced, I expect the distribution of housework is going to be more equal.”

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Distribution histogram of 14 occupations and genders. The red bar represents the percentage of jobs held by women while the blue bar illustrates the percentage of jobs held by men. The occupations listed here include cleaners/servants, textile sewing machine operators, child care workers, receptionists, preschool teachers, secretaries, nurses, auto mechanics, truck driver, firefighters, airline pilots, mechanical engineers, computer software engineers and chief executives.  Image source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2009.

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