Does Sharing Housework Make Men Happier?

Does Sharing Housework Make Men Happier?

Sarah Coffey
Nov 8, 2010

According to a new study of 1,100 working fathers in the UK, the answer is yes. The study — Work Life Balance: Working for Fathers? — found that dads were happier when they and their wives shared equal chores, work time, and family time. (The report follows on the heels of a 2009 study in the Journal of Family Issues that found the more men help out around the house, the more sex they're probably having.) Sounds great, right? There's just one hitch…

The Guardian published the results of the 2010 study and interviewed lead researcher Dr. Caroline Gatrell, who explained, "The problem is that although families are changing, this is — largely — being completely ignored by employers."

At least in the UK, the expectation still stands that women will cut back their work hours after having children, while men will keep up the same work schedule. Equality might be increasing in the domestic sphere, but the balance hasn't yet tipped at work. Based purely on anecdotal evidence, we'd wager the same holds true here in the U.S.

What do you think? Does sharing housework improve a man's chances for happiness? Does the workplace form a barrier that we have yet to collectively break?

Fathers are happier when doing more housework, says study | The Guardian
Men Who Clean House Are Happier |
Study Finds Link Between House Chores and Sex | Boing Boing
Division of Labor: Sharing Housework | Apartment Therapy
Chore Charts and the Equitable Household | Apartment Therapy

Photo: Rob Bouldon used under Creative Commons License 2.0

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