Power and control studies

Studies on housework, childcare and decision making in households

Studies of Housework and Childcare

Dryden- qualitative study of 17 couples found women still had major responsibility for housework and childcare.

Surveys investigating the distribution of housework and childcare tasks sugget that men today are more involved in domestic tasks than thier fathers.

However, Lader conducted a survey which found women in paid work spent 21 hours a week on average on housework, compared with only 12 hours spent by men.

There was little sign that the traditional sexual division of labour in the home was changing. As in 2005 women spent more time than men cooking, cleaning, washing up, tidying, washing clothes and shopping . Whilst traditionally male tasks like DIY and gardening were still male dominated. 

Data from the British Household Panel Survey suggests whatever the work-domestic set-up, women do more in t he home than men. E.g. when spouses work full-time, even when the man is unemployed and his wife works, women put more hours into domestic labour than men.

1 of 2

Studies of Housework and Childcare (continued)

Unemployed men actually resist increased involvement in housework because they interpret it as unmasculine and as a further threat to their breadwinner role.

McKee and Bell found that employed men in their study found it degrading to do housework and to be 'kept' by their employed wives.

So the quantifiable evidence indicates that women are likely to experience a double burden or double shift- in that they are expecged tobe mainly responsible for the bulk of domestic tasks, despite holding down full0time jobs.

Sclater points out that household technologies which have been advertised as making life easier for women have actually increased this burden becuase they have raised household standards of cleanliness and increased time spent on housework. 

2 of 2


No comments have yet been made

Similar Sociology resources:

See all Sociology resources »See all Families and households resources »