1.1 Argue that men and women remain unequal within the
family and women still do most of the housework. They
see this inequality as stemming from the fact that
family and society are male-dominated/patriarchal.
1.2 Ann Oakley- criticises Young and Willmott's view that the family is now
symmetrical. She argues that their claims are exaggerated. In her own research
on housewives, she found some evidence of husbands helping in the home but
no evidence of a trend towards symmetry. Only 15% of husbands had a high
level of participation towards house work and only 25% towards childcare.
1.3 Mary Boulton- found that fewer than 20% of husbands had a major role in childcare.
1.4 Alan Warde and Kevin Hetherington- research shows that sex-typing of
domestic tasks remains strong. For example, wives were 30 times more
likely to have been the last person to have done the washing, whereas men
were 4 times more likely to have been the last person to have washed the
car. In general, Warde and Hetherington found that men would only carry
out routine 'female' tasks if their partner wasn't around to do them.
Nevertheless, they did find evidence of a slight change of attitude among
younger men. They no longer assumed that women should do the
housework, and were more likely to think they weren't doing their fair
1.5 Future Foundation- research on 1,000 adults found that 60%
of men claimed to do more housework than their fathers and
75% of women claied to do less that their mothers.
1.6 Office of National Statistics- on average
women spend two hours a day on housework,
cooking, cleaning, washing up and ironing,
compared with men's one hour a day.
2 Paid Work
2.1 Today, three-quarters of married or cohabiting women in the
UK are economically active, as against fewer than half in 1971.
2.2 Sociologists are debating on whether this new trend is leading
to a more equal division of domestic tasks, with the 'new man'
doing his fair share, or whether it means that women now have
to carry a 'dual burden' of paid work as well as domestic work.
2.3 Man-Yee Kan: found income from employment, age and education
affected how much housework a woman did: better paid, younger, better
educated women did less housework. E.g. every £10,000 increase in a
women's annual income reduces her weekly housework time by two hours.
2.4 Gershuny- found that wives who worked full-time did less domestic work.
Wives who did not go to work did 83% of the housework and even wives who
worked part-time still did 82%. Wives who worked full-time did 73% of the
housework. The longer the wife had been in paid work, the more housework
her husband was likely to do. Couples whose parents had a more equal
relationship were likely to share housework more equally themselves.