New research suggests something many women living with a male partner already know: men aren’t doing their fair share at home.
A report by Oxfam and the Institute for Women’s Policy Research has found that on average, ladies in the U.S. spend two more hours per day than guys do on unpaid tasks such as cooking, cleaning and caregiving.
In the study, researchers analyzed data from the 2018 American Time Use Survey. Their findings showed that females ages 15 and older dedicate 5.7 hours daily on housework and looking after the kids. Their male counterparts commit just 3.6 hours per day, Today reports.
In fact, an unequal distribution of domestic labor existed across all the demographic groups researchers examined, such as age, marital status, race/ethnicity, education, income, place of birth and employment.
Some interesting findings:
- Among age range, the largest gender gap was for those between 15 and 24. Guys in this group do 1.7 hours of housework and childrearing per day, which is two hours less than how much women spend. Adults ages 35-44, however, spent the most time on such tasks—5.2 hours per day for men, and 8.8 hours per day for gals.
- Researchers found a bigger gender gap for those who are married than those who aren’t.
- As ethnicity, the difference is most stark for Hispanics. Females in this group do 3.5 hours of unpaid labor per day than their male counterparts.
The report also revealed that women who are employed full-time (at least 35 hours a week) still have more responsibilities at home than dudes do—dedicating 4.9 hours daily doing unpaid labor, compared to guys, who commit 3.8 hours and work just as much.
According to researchers, the gender gap at home is problematic for several reasons. Because paid childcare is expensive and looking after kids takes a lot of time, females—and it’s usually females, not males—might be forced to cut back on paid work. That in turn could stall career advancement and worsen the gender pay gap (currently 79 cents to a man’s dollar).
To make things fair at home, researchers recommend public policies such as affordable childcare, flexible hours and locations, guaranteed paid family and medical leave, leave policies structured to encourage men to participate, and paid sick days.