In fact, according to a new University of Michigan study, having a husband creates an extra seven hours of housework each week for women. Additionally, though men are certainly doing more housework than they did in the past, that same study indicates that getting married saves them an hour each week.
Still, both the men and the women who got married did more housework than those who stayed single, the analysis showed. The findings are part of a detailed study of housework trends, based on 2005 time-diary data from the federally-funded Panel Study of Income Dynamics, conducted since 1968 at the U-M Institute for Social Research (ISR).
“It’s a well-known pattern,” said lead researcher Frank Stafford, an economist at University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. “Men tend to work more outside the home, while women take on more of the household labor.”
In 1976, women devoted 26 hours/week to household chores, a figure that dropped to 17 hours in 2005. Men, on the other hand, have more than doubled their housekeeping “contribution’, from just six hours/week in 1976 to 13 in 2005.
Age also mattered – or perhaps it reflects some generational role differences. Single women in their 20s and 30s did the least housework (about 12 hours/week), while married women in their 60s and 70s did the most, roughly 21 hours a week. The study also found that older men did more housework than younger men, but single men did more housework—at all ages—than married men.
On the other hand, having kids boosts house chores even further. With more than three kids, for instance, wives took on more of the extra work, clocking about 28 hours a week compared with husbands’ 10 hours.
The study, along with other similar studies, also found the women take on more inside household chores after they get married, while married men do more outside jobs around the house, like mowing the grass, gardening, and painting.
So, married men end up doing work, but more of it is outside the house, rather than inside.
Researchers analyzed time-diaries and questionnaires from a nationally representative sample of men and women over a 10-year period between 1996 and 2005.