University of Michigan study: Women do nearly 'twice as many' household chores as men

Posted at 7:06 AM, Jan 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-23 18:48:53-05

(WXYZ) — The division of labor between boys and girls doing household chores is nearly equal, according to a University of Michigan study.

The study noted that women still do nearly twice as much housework as men.

Researchers studied change in housework along with "marketwork," work done for pay outside the home, between 1983 and 2015.

Core housework involves washing dishes, sweeping and vacuuming. Study author Frank Stafford, a professor of economics and research professor in the Survey Research Center at the Institute for Social Research, says it doesn't include housework done by a cleaning service or home activities like gardening and child care.

In 1983, married men completed 6.4 hours of housework and 40.1 hours of marketwork. In 2015, they completed 7.8 hours of housework and 40.4 hours of marketwork.

Married women's hours of marketwork rose from an average of 19.1 in 1983 to 28.2 hours in 2015, and housework hours fell from 26.9 to 15.4 hours.

"In the old days, when young people got married, women radically increased housework substantially and decreased marketwork. It was the reverse for men. Now, it's not quite such a dramatic reallocation," Stafford said in a press release. "Women still do more, but not as much additional housework upon marriage as they did previously."

The total number of hours of housework declined from 1983 to 2015. Married couples did 33.3 hours of housework in 1983 compared to 23.2 hours in 2015.

Researchers note that fewer overall housework hours show up for kids in families, as well. The amount of housework done by boys compared to girls has become relatively equal. In 2002, teenage boys did 21.4 minutes of housework per day, while girls did 40.5 minutes of housework per day. In 2014, boys did 26.8 minutes of housework per day, while girls did 30 minutes.

The total work hours for both men and women remained relatively the same between 1983 and 2015, the study noted.

"Total work has remained stable," Stafford said. "We're seeing this movement toward higher value marketwork and away from routine housework. From this shift we have greater economic contributions by women and substantial economic growth."