Juggling Multiple Roles

How do dual-earning couples divide household chores?

Women spend more time on chores: see Figure 12.7

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Men have increased the amount of time they spend on housework, but usually only on weekends and only on tasks they find agreeable

European American men tend to spend less time on chores than men from ethnicity groups in the U.S.

Country Hours of Housework done by Women Hours of Housework done by Men
Denmark 5.2 3.2
France 5 2
Germany 6.8 3.3
Greece 8.2 1.7
Ireland 10 4
Portugal 8.4 2.1
Turkey 8.1 1
Ukraine 8.3 5.1

Work-family conflict: the feeling of being pulled in multiple directions by incompatible demands from job and family

Work and family roles influence each other in complex ways

Most U.S. households with dual-earners couples still use a gender-segregated system for doing chores and childcare

Men tend to wash the car, mow the lawn, etc. while women vacuum, change diapers, etc.

Dual-earner couples must learn how to grapple with work–family conflict in balancing job and family demands.

How can men and women have equitable divisions of labor?

Open communication with partner

Teach children that men and women should be equally responsible for chores

Work-family conflict requires a life-stage approach

Demands highest during peak parenting years

Globally, women experience more conflict from competing work and family demands

Couples can work together to help mitigate the stress

By negotiating schedules around work commitments throughout their careers


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