All Volumes (2001-2008)


Volume VI, 2007

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The division of household labor among dual-earner couples has been the focus of much research, and the finding that the women in these relationships perform more domestic tasks than their male counterparts is well documented. Hochschild (1989) found this occurrence to be true among the dual-earners in her study, and she even confirmed this finding fourteen years later in a revised edition of her book. Additionally, in a review of literature on the division of household labor, Beth Anne Shelton and Daphne John (1996) concluded that even when women work outside of the home, they still complete more housework than men.

Not only has research shown that women maintain more responsibility for household labor, but studies have also revealed that the unequal division of labor can detrimentally affect women. A study by Bielby and Bielby (1989) showed that if women remain responsible for the bulk of domestic work, they may not be able to form strong identities with their careers. Therefore, the family role could potentially jeopardize the importance women give to their work. Lennon and Rosenfield (1994) and Chloe E. Bird (1999) revealed that women who view the distribution of household labor as unfair are more likely to experience depression. Furthermore, marital satisfaction decreases for women and men when the division of housework is viewed as unfair, yet the likelihood of divorce for women, but not men, increases when the division is seen as unfair (Frisco and Williams 2003).