The gendered division of housework is the linchpin in a broader system of gender inequality. Consistent with pioneering feminist theories of gender stratification, this cross-national study demonstrates this approach with multi-level models that consider individual as well as cultural and structural variables that are associated with the absolute time men and women spend doing housework. Building on research relating national gender ideology to the husband-wife shares of housework, this paper asks how gender ideology relates to the absolute amount of time that men and women spend doing housework. Complementing this cultural indicator, the paper introduces a previously neglected constraint on domestic practices, asking whether the quality of a country’s housing stock predicts weekly hours in housework. Drawing on 2012 International Social Survey Program data for 20 European countries, we study nationally representative samples totaling 7733 respondents who were ages 18–65 and legally married, cohabiting, or in civil partnerships. Even controlling for individual-level covariates, results confirm that men and women perform less housework in countries where public opinion supports gender equality. In countries with more substandard housing, however, women, but not men, spend more time in housework than they do elsewhere.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 9, 2016
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