Especially in sitcoms men are made out to be slackers when it comes to doing the housework. There is a belief that men don't help out as much with the kids and don't pull their weight when it comes to doing their share of the housework.

Does this still hold up in modern times? Have their been any recent studies into the split of housework and whether men spend equal time with children?

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    I do 100% of the housework in my home, but then I'm single :)
    – jwenting
    Jun 6 '11 at 8:10
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    What is "housework"? I assume cleaning, cooking, laundry, remodeling, gardening, repairs, painting, landscaping?
    – MrHen
    Jun 6 '11 at 17:21
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    I don't have a copy of the book any more, but I'd start by looking at The Second Shift by Arlie Russell Hochschild -- it's an academic book from 1989 about the division of labor between married couples. She investigated similar topics in 1997 in The Time Bind. There is also a just-published academic book called At the Heart of Work and Family (amazon.com/At-Heart-Work-Family-Hochschild/dp/0813549566).
    – Martha F.
    Jun 6 '11 at 19:03
  • I believe that men do housework, and enjoy time with wife and children, if they genuinely want to enjoy a good, long, happy marriage because it is an important aspect of having a [mentally] healthy family. Jun 6 '11 at 20:06
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    @MrHen if you are trying to imply that some men make up for their share of the housework by doing the remodeling, repairs, painting, landscaping, well consider that those chores are done maybe once or twice per decade, while the others are typically daily chores.
    – Octopus
    Mar 6 '17 at 17:41

The short answer is yes, women do more housework than men, but it's shifting in the direction of more equal distribution of labor. There's a fantastic and well-referenced summary of current understanding on Po Bronson's site.

According to The Journal of Marriage and Family in 2002, women do more housework than men, but not all of it by any means. (See this graph of the results by country.)

Much more detail can be found in this article from the Marriage and Family Encyclopedia, which suggests that since the first major studies in the 1970s, men have been taking on more of the housework, although women still do more than men in most households.

According to an article from 2000:

Household work continues to be divided according to gender, with women performing the vast majority of the repetitive indoor housework tasks and men performing occasional outdoor tasks

Taken from: Coltrane, S. (2000). "Research on Household Labor: Modeling and Measuring the Social Embeddedness of Routine Family Work." Journal of Marriage and the Family 62:1208–1233.

Similar information can be found from Philip N. Cohen, Suzanne M. Bianchi et al., Crompton Rosemary and Lyonette Clare, and many others.

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    I find that men and women differ significantly on the definition of "what needs to be done". It has also been shown that women see differently from men, and can notice dust and dirt more. I also think that women tend to keep themselves busy, where men outside of work focus on relaxing. If your home is also your "workplace"... Hard to relax!
    – user29285
    Oct 9 '15 at 0:12

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