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Occupation Influences How Housework Is Divvied Up

Occupation Influences How Housework Is Divvied UpNew research suggests a person’s occupation influences how partners allocate household duties.

Although women still do about two-thirds of household chores, the times are changing as women become employed in traditional male jobs.

As women gain a stronghold in the workforce, the issue of who performs the household chores becomes a topic that if not resolved can lead to marital discord and even divorce.

New research discovers that while women still do many of the chores, the division of labor may depend on what her mate does for a living.

University of Notre Dame sociologist Dr. Elizabeth Aura McClintock found 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.

McClintock examined data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics for the years 1981-2009, and found that when married or cohabiting women work in traditionally female jobs they increase the amount of time they spend on housework.

Researchers observed that after marriage, a person’s occupation influences the amount of housework they subsequently perform.

“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,” said McClintock.

Source: American Sociological Association

Man ready to clean photo by shutterstock.

Occupation Influences How Housework Is Divvied Up

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). Occupation Influences How Housework Is Divvied Up. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 21, 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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