Raise your hand if you’ve ever complained to your girlfriends (probably over a glass of wine) how annoying it is that your husband just won’t help out around the house no matter how many times you ask. Is your hand raised, because both of ours are! That said, it’s probably not surprising to women everywhere that a new study confirms what we all know: Women do more chores than men.
The study, which was published in the journal Sex Roles, tracked 900 Canadian women for 18 years. Researchers checked in with each of the women three different times during the study: in 1992 when the women were 25 (the moving into adulthood category), in 1999 when they were 32 (the young adult category), and in 2010 when they were 43 (the midlife category). This was done so researchers could learn whether the housework distribution was affected by work, income, marital status, or children.
The results? “Women consistently perform more housework than men do,” the study’s author Rebecca Horne explains. “Patterns of housework responsibility between men and women tend to be quite consistent at each life stage despite minor fluctuations in the volume of housework chores.”
One interesting tidbit that emerged from the study is that the largest gap between the amount of chores men and women complete was at age 43. It sounds like 20 years of nagging does little to increase a man’s willingness to help our around the house, right? Researchers did say that this could be the result of many things, including that couples tend to revert to typical gender roles the older they get.
Horne suggests that this research has implications for couples counseling, saying that therapists can encourage patients to explore their assumptions about the gendered nature of chores, as well as each couple’s power dynamic. So maybe there’s still hope!