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Dads often have fun while mothers do housework: study

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Fathers are more likely to be relaxing while mothers do the housework or look after children on their off days even among highly educated, working couples, according to a study which shows that gender equity is still disappointing in the modern society.

The study found that three months after the birth of their first child, on days when couples were not working, men were most often relaxing while women did housework or child care.


In contrast, when men were taking care of the kids or working around the house, their partners were most often doing the same thing.

Women spent 46 to 49 minutes relaxing while men did child care or housework on their day off. However, men spent about twice that amount of time in leisure - about 101 minutes - while their partners did some kind of work.

"It's frustrating. Household tasks and child care are still not being shared equally, even among couples who we expected would have more egalitarian views of how to share parenting duties," said Claire Kamp Dush, associate professor at Ohio State University in the US.

The research, published in the journal Sex Roles, included 52 dual-earner couples who were having their first child.

The researchers asked the couples to complete their own time diaries for a workday and a non-workday during the third trimester of the woman's pregnancy and about three months after the baby's birth.

On workdays after the baby was born, the amount of time women and men spent doing housework and child care was more equal than on non-workdays, although women still did slightly more work, the results showed.

However, men made up for it on non-workdays, when the amount of time they spent in leisure activities actually doubled - from 47 to 101 minutes - between when their partner was pregnant and three months after the birth.

On their days off, men were relaxing 46 per cent of the time while their partners did child care. In contrast, women were engaged in leisure only 16 per cent of the time when their partners were taking care of their child.

Results were similar for housework, where fathers took 35 percent of the time off while their partner did tasks like cleaning. Women took 19 per cent of the time off when men did housework.

Kamp Dush said these highly educated couples where both parents have jobs would be the ones you would expect to have worked out equitable arrangements for sharing housework and child care.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, October 09 2017. 12:02 IST
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