If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

Housework in Marital and Nonmarital Households

Scott J. South and Glenna Spitze
American Sociological Review
Vol. 59, No. 3 (Jun., 1994), pp. 327-347
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2095937
Page Count: 21
  • Download PDF
  • Cite this Item

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
Housework in Marital and Nonmarital Households
Preview not available

Abstract

Although much recent research has explored the division of household labor between husbands and wives, few studies have examined housework patterns across marital statuses. This paper uses data from the National Survey of Families and Households to analyze differences in time spent on housework by men and women in six different living situations: never married and living with parents, never married and living independently, cohabiting, married, divorced, and widowed. In all situations, women spend more time than men doing housework, but the gender gap is widest among married persons. The time women spend doing housework is higher among cohabitants than among the never-married, is highest in marriage, and is lower among divorcees and widows. Men's housework time is very similar across both never-married living situations, in cohabitation, and in marriage. However, divorced and widowed men do substantially more housework than any other group of men, and they are especially more likely than their married counterparts to spend more time cooking and cleaning. In addition to gender and marital status, housework time is affected significantly by several indicators of workload (e.g., number of children, home ownership) and time devoted to nonhousehold activities (e.g., paid employment, school enrollment)--most of these variables have greater effects on women's housework time than on men's. An adult son living at home increases women's housework, whereas an adult daughter at home reduces housework for women and men. These housework patterns are generally consistent with an emerging perspective that views housework as a symbolic enactment of gender relations. We discuss the implications of these findings for perceptions of marital equity.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
327
    327
  • Thumbnail: Page 
328
    328
  • Thumbnail: Page 
329
    329
  • Thumbnail: Page 
330
    330
  • Thumbnail: Page 
331
    331
  • Thumbnail: Page 
332
    332
  • Thumbnail: Page 
333
    333
  • Thumbnail: Page 
334
    334
  • Thumbnail: Page 
335
    335
  • Thumbnail: Page 
336
    336
  • Thumbnail: Page 
337
    337
  • Thumbnail: Page 
338
    338
  • Thumbnail: Page 
339
    339
  • Thumbnail: Page 
340
    340
  • Thumbnail: Page 
341
    341
  • Thumbnail: Page 
342
    342
  • Thumbnail: Page 
343
    343
  • Thumbnail: Page 
344
    344
  • Thumbnail: Page 
345
    345
  • Thumbnail: Page 
346
    346
  • Thumbnail: Page 
347
    347