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Many Women See Housework as Gender Inequality

Many Women See Housework as Gender InequalityA new study discovers that when women are responsible for a majority of the household chores, they often perceive socioeconomic and gender inequality in the relationship with their partner which can lead to psychohological distress.

Researchers studied health data from 1981 until 2007 for a group called the Northern Swedish Cohort. Health care in Sweden is nationalized, meaning that comprehensive information on physician and mental health care utilization is maintained on all residents.

The results confirmed previous studies showing that women tend to have higher levels of domestic responsibility, which in turn is related to higher psychological distress, and they also showed that the correlation depended on the perceived gender equality in the relationship.

In other words, when women performed more of the household tasks, and perceived that they occupied a lower social economic position than their partner, they developed stress.

If a woman perceived she was on an equal socioeconomic footing as her partner, then performing the additional housework did not lead to stress. Researchers also discovered that men had higher psychological distress if their socioeconomic position was lower than their partner’s.

In sum, perceived inequality in a relationship can influence psychological distress when household duties are unevenly distributed.

Study findings are published in the open access journal PLoS ONE.

Source: Public Library of Science

Woman cleaning glass photo by shutterstock.

Many Women See Housework as Gender Inequality

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Many Women See Housework as Gender Inequality. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 24, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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