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Study: Why women, but not men, are judged for a messy house

By: Team Ifairer | Posted: 16-06-2019
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Study: Why women, but not men, are judged for a messy houseStudy: Why women, but not men, are judged for a messy house
Study: Why women, but not men, are judged for a messy house, study,  why women,  but not men,  are judged for a messy house,  new research,  relationships,  ifairer
"One possibility is what people believe is expected of them to be a good wife and partner is still really strong, and you're held to those standards when you're living with someone," said Joanna Pepin, a sociologist at the University of Maryland, who wrote the paper with Liana Sayer, a colleague at Maryland, and Lynne Casper from the University of Southern California.

Other possibilities, Pepin said, were that men created more housework; single mothers were more tired; or children did more chores when they lived with a single mother.
Women tend to do more indoor chores, research shows, like cleaning and cooking, most of which occur daily. Men do more outdoor chores, like lawn mowing or car washing, which happen less often.

Another recent study, in the journal Gender & Society, looked at people in opposite-sex marriages and found that even though men who live in cities spend less time on outdoor chores than suburban or rural men, they don't spend any additional time on other kinds of chores. Women spend the same amount of time on chores regardless of where they live.

The pattern demonstrates how much housework is considered women's work, said the researchers, Natasha Quadlin at Ohio State University and Long Doan at the University of Maryland, who used data from the American Time Use Survey and the Current Population Survey.

One way to be masculine is to do typically male chores, they concluded - and another way is to refuse to do typically female ones. These studies relied on survey data to show what people do. A study published last month in Sociological Methods & Research tried to explain why women do more housework. The researchers conducted an experiment to uncover the beliefs that drive people's behaviour.They showed 624 people a photo of a messy living room and kitchen - dishes on the counters, a cluttered coffee table, blankets strewn about - or the clean version of the same space. (They used MTurk, a survey platform popular with social scientists; the participants were slightly more educated and more likely to be white and liberal than the population at large.)The results debunked the age-old excuse that women have an innately lower tolerance for messiness. Men notice the dust and piles. They just aren't held to the same social standards for cleanliness, the study found.
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