Housework. Whether you love it or hate it, most of us have to do at least some of it.
How we split it up the chores at home is the subject matter of millions of minor (and major) family feuds. Usually, in the end, we fall into some sort of pattern at home whereby tasks are shared whether it is consciously negotiated or not. Typically, it is still the woman who ends up doing more of the housework. The last time the federal government measured this, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that 84% of women did some housework in 2014 (compared to 65% of men). Those percentages have barely budged from the government’s previous study from over a decade earlier.
According to Slate, globally women spend an average of 4.5 hours a day on unpaid housework, and women in the U.S. spend around 4 hours on chores compared with around 2.5 hours for me. As Slate puts it,: “Work schedules and habits are considered — sometimes consciously, sometimes not — and a pattern of domestic work emerges. We may not always like the outcome, but many of us slog through them with the belief that we mainly have ourselves and our partners to blame.”
The amount of housework one does, however, turns out to depend on a couple other factors that may not be very obvious. How much time you spend doing the dishes, laundry, and taking out the trash seems to depend very much on where you live. A recent study published by sociologists Leah Ruppanner and David Maume suggests that the division of housework is heavily related to two things related to where you live: (1) how many women are in the labor force in your state, and (2) how culturally progressive your environment is (as measured by a number of data points ranging from the political composition of elected officials to the marriage rate and percentage of population that attend church).
Fairygodboss is committed to improving the workplace and lives of women.