In this study we explored the ways in which men's and women's personal incomes are treated and experienced differently in the family. Two hundred and fourteen participants (102 men and 112 women) in dual-earner couples were recruited in a random sample telephone survey. Participants reported a double standard in which women receive more praise than men for their incomes. Men reported stronger negative and positive feelings about their incomes than women. Regardless of gender, the higher the participants' income category the more gratitude they received from spouses and the more appreciated they felt. Wives' absolute incomes elicited husbands' gratitude, whereas husbands' relative incomes influenced wives' gratitude. Women who outearned their husbands reported no negative consequences. Although money still carries gendered meaning, women's incomes may earn increasing clout in the family. The ways in which praise, criticism, and gratitude for earnings provide a window on how gender is done and undone in the family are discussed.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 28, 2004
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