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A man's occupation linked to time spent on housework, study finds

A woman's work is never done — or so the saying goes. Though women still do about two thirds of household chores, the division of labor may depend on what her mate does for a living.

New research by University of Notre Dame Sociologist Elizabeth Aura McClintock shows that when married or cohabiting men are employed in heavily female occupations — like teaching, childcare work, or nursing — they spend more time doing housework, compared to when they are employed in traditionally male jobs. In addition, their wives or partners spend less time doing housework, compared to when the men work in heavily-male occupations.

Examining data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics for the years 1981-2009, McClintock also found that when married or cohabiting women work in traditionally female jobs they increase the amount of time they spend on housework, compared to when they are employed in heavily-male occupations, while their husbands or partners decrease the amount of time they spend on this type of activity.

"Importantly, occupational sex composition is largely unrelated to housework for single men or women, suggesting that occupation influences housework through interactions and negotiations between romantic partners," says McClintock.

McClintock will present the study, "Gender-Atypical Occupations and Time Spent on Housework: Doing Gender or Doing Chores?," at the 108th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association.

About the American Sociological Association

The American Sociological Association (, founded in 1905, is a non-profit membership association dedicated to serving sociologists in their work, advancing sociology as a science and profession, and promoting the contributions to and use of sociology by society.

The paper, "Gender-Atypical Occupations and Time Spent on Housework: Doing Gender or Doing Chores?," will be presented on Tuesday, Aug. 13, at 10:30 a.m. EDT in New York City at the American Sociological Association's 108th Annual Meeting.

To obtain a copy of the paper; for assistance reaching the study's author(s); or for more information on other ASA presentations, members of the media can contact Daniel Fowler, ASA's Media Relations and Public Affairs Officer, at (202) 527-7885 or During the Annual Meeting (Aug. 10-13), ASA's Public Information Office staff can be reached in the on-site press office, located in the Hilton New York Midtown's Clinton Room, at (212) 333-6362 or (914) 450-4557 (cell).

For more information about the study, members of the media can also contact Susan Guibert, Office of Public Relations, University of Notre Dame, at (574) 631-2867 or

Papers presented at the ASA Annual Meeting are typically working papers that have not yet been published in peer reviewed journals.

Contact: Daniel Fowler, (202) 527-7885, (914) 450-4557 (cell),

On-site Press Office (Aug. 10-13): Hilton New York Midtown, Clinton Room, (212) 333-6362

Daniel Fowler | EurekAlert!
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