Magazine article USA TODAY

Spouses Don't Share Chores Equally

Magazine article USA TODAY

Spouses Don't Share Chores Equally

Article excerpt

In the battle of the sexes over housework and child care, men are not always to blame when women carry a heavier load of responsibilities. Women can be reluctant to give up their traditional roles, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign research shows. A mail survey of 450 married university employees and their spouses, with an average age of 44, showed that attitudes about housework don't always match with behavior or who does the work.

While the roles of females outside the household have changed dramatically as more women get jobs, responsibilities in the home have shifted only slightly, maintains Vicki Fitzsimmons, a professor of family economics. Female respondents said they did 18 household tasks -- those largely perceived as "women's work" -- either more than their husbands or by themselves. Among the chores were planning meals, shopping, preparing food, making appointments, doing the laundry, balancing the checkbook. cleaning, and caring for children. This is despite the fact that at least halt the men and women surveyed agreed that some of these should be shared equally, including shopping for food, daily care of the children, laundry, cleaning, and making appointments for the family. …

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