The Uncommon Man

August 15, 2006

Study Shows Men Still Shirk Household Duties

Via Feminist Daily News Wire
August 7, 2006

Women still do 63 percent of the household work, according to data released late last month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While women dedicate an average of almost 16 hours per week to household tasks such as cleaning and preparing food, men’s contributions add up to less than ten hours weekly. The data comes from a survey of 13,000 American men and women over the age of 15, who quantified time spent on various activities over an average day – the 24 hours preceding the interview.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has conducted the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) annually for the past three years, and its statistics show men’s and women’s time spent on housework have fluctuated very little over this period. Similar studies administered periodically since 1968 by The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research illuminate longer-term time use trends. Their findings show a dramatic increase in men’s contribution to housework from 1968 to 1985, from 4.4 weekly hours to 10.2, with women’s time allotment declining more than 50 percent over the same period, from 31.9 hours down to 20.4.

Since 1985, however, progress toward gender equality in domestic work has stalled, according to the time use studies, which show a 20-year plateau that continues with the recent ATUS findings. University of Maryland sociologists Suzanne Bianchi, John Robinson, and Melissa Milkie analyze this trend in their new book Changing Rhythms of Family Life, published this month. They note that although men’s contribution to household work has not changed significantly in years, both men and women have steadily increased time taking care of children.

Posted by Daniel at August 15, 2006 04:47 PM


It's an interesting heading - men shrink from household duties - but 37% of them are doing them (that's the men doing housework if we believe that 63% of the work is being done by women). Compared to the past, that's an improvement but it is put in the form of a complaint - men are not complaining -its women of course.

The assumption and expectation is that men should do at least 50% of the work (men are only 37% away from the goal) is not men's - agsin it's women's. If you would ask most men about how things should be at home, men complain less about messy houses than women do. Women are more concerned about the cleaner homes - remember this is a comparison - some men are more concerned than women are and say something - most don't. Men want to feel that what a woman does is what she needs to do - the home is more a concern for her so she will obviously put more time and effot to do something about it.

Many men don't do more house work since they are not that concerned and if left to them, more dirt would not be so bad. I have challenged women to this point- if the house is really his responsibility as well as it is hers, the he should have a say about how the house should be. So try this - Divide the home in 1/2 - lets say there are 4 rooms to demonstrate the point - kitchen/dining room, bedroom, front room and bathroom. Give the man 2 rooms to take care of and the woman gets 2 rooms to take care of. He gets to decorate it, clean it, organize it, etc. as he wants and she gets to do the same with her rooms. She chooses who gets what 2 rooms. She cannot complain how he keeps his rooms and he can't complain how she keeps her rooms.

Now the question is, on average in most homes, who will be more upset after 1 - 2 months - the woman or the man? There's no bang for the buck for him to be that interested in her standards if he got a say. Be honest - the real question should be - why does he not help her more. The assumption is it should be his concern too.

Like a recent movie - forgot the title since I did not see it - a woman and man are breaking up and neither wants to give up the condo. At a point he agrees to help her with the kitchen but she does not want just that - she wants him to want to clean the kitchen (as she apparently does) - Doesn't work that way. Some men are more neat and picky but that is the exception that proves the rule that exists. Put this in a pipe for a while and smoke it.

Posted by: larry at August 15, 2006 07:55 PM

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