A new study finds that when it comes to household chores, women are more likely to take on most work; regardless of how much they have already worked outside and even how much they earn.
The study, conducted by the University of Alberta investigating the balance of household tasks examined how this shifts between partners across three stages of life and found that while women were found to consistently do more housework irrespective of other factors, male involvement was influenced by the demand of other responsibilities.
The new study highlights the disparity when it comes to sharing of domestic tasks.
Speaking about it lead author Rebecca Horne said that patterns of housework responsibility between men and women tend to be quite consistent at each life stage despite minor fluctuations in the volume of housework chores.
In the study, the researchers analyzed questionnaires filled out by participants of the Edmonton Transition Study, which tracked more than 900 Canadians from high school to work, and from adolescence into adulthood.
The team focused on participants who had life partners in 1992, 1999, and 2012, when they were 25, 32, and 43 years old.
For each participant, the researchers examined the effect of that person’s work hours, relative income, marital status, and responsibilities toward children on their contribution to housework.
According to Horne, the study revealed that overall, time, money, and gender variables seemed to be important for explaining the division of household labour. Despite some progress in recent years to improve the domestic balance, Horne notes that the distribution of housework still follows a persistent gendered nature.
The researchers are hopeful that the new study might make partners more aware of outside factors that may influence the division of chores, to promote greater equality at home.