CRTF #11 Conjugal Roles and Domestic Chores Factors: 7. Same Sex Households

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  • Conjugal Roles and Domestic Chores Factors:                              7. Same Sex Households
    • Weeks Et Al - 1999
      • They see issues like the division of domestic labour as a matter for discussion and negotiations
      • Research based on interviews suggested that same-sex couples emphasise equality and strive to remove power difference from their relationship.
      • They feel that being lesbian or gay offers more opportunities for equality. As one women put it, "its much easier to have equal relations if you are the same sex"
    • This suggests that paid work exerts an important influence on the division of labour even in same-sex relationships
    • Women focus on alternatives to the unequal division or domestic labour which they see in heterosexual relationships
    • Dunne - 1997
      • Similarly, time spent on houseworktended to be shared
      • A study of 37 cohabitating lesbian couples indicates how far these ideals are translated into reality
      • Some of the couples have children, and in most cases childcare was shared
      • However, when one partner was in full-time employment, she did less housework than her partner in part-time work
    • Dunne - 1997, gives the following reasons as to why same-sex relationships are more equal than heterosexual ones:
      • Gay and lesbian partnerships are free from  the social norms and conventions which surround and direct heterosexual relationships. They are not weighted down by this cultural baggage. As a result they have more freedom to construct "families of choice"
      • Gender inequalities in the labour market shape gender inequalities in partnerships, men generally have jobs with higher stats and pay than their partners, and this tends to shape their relationship at home
    • However, Dunne found that where one partner did much more paid work than the other, the time that each partner spend on domestic working was likely to be unequal
    • Men focus on alternatives to the macho male and the passive female which they see in heterosexual relationships.
    • In both cases equality is the core emphasis


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