May 11, 2022

Millennials still don’t do laundry or housework

It’s a new decade and women now hold more jobs than men. But they also keep the majority of the household chores.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 109,000 more women than men in the workforce.

However, a Gallup poll reports that women are still more likely to do laundry, clean the house, shop for groceries, prepare meals, wash dishes and make decisions about furniture and decorations – even among the younger generations who would be more egalitarian than ever.

While this may come as a shock to progressive millennials, experts aren’t surprised. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report, current trends indicate that it will take at least 208 years for the United States to achieve true gender equality.

So why is it taking so long?

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From childhood

Harry Reis, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, said that gender roles change “very, very” slowly and are most likely the product of an individual’s education as a child.

“It’s more convenient and comfortable for people to follow the gender roles they grew up with,” he said. “If you look at studies, girls are asked to help with activities than boys. “

And he’s right. According to a 2017 analysis, girls between the ages of 15 and 19 spend about 45 minutes on household chores each day, while boys in the same age group spend about 30 minutes.

Reis said that individuals are raised and socialized to play roles in a gender-specific way. Even though parents are now trying to teach their children more gender neutral roles, he said it is still a struggle for people.

Data shows that even the most educated parents are no more likely to make sure their sons have the skills to take care of their home, according to an American Time Use Survey analysis by the Bureau of Labor Statistics the United States.

The second half of the gender revolution

Christin Munsch, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut, says most millennials say they are for gender equality, but more is needed to close the gap between sexes.

“At some level, they believe they want to be those good feminist men who share household chores and responsibilities,” she said. “But I think when all of that is said and done and it comes to training on a daily basis, there’s a reason it’s not being implemented.”

More and more men are in favor of women occupying male-dominated spaces, but are reluctant to enter spaces historically designated as female.

One of the reasons for this is that our society still values ​​masculinity, Munsch speculates. She said research has shown that male-only jobs, such as business and engineering, pay more than most female-only jobs.

Even men and women in the same profession are paid differently. According to Salary.com, a janitor can earn up to $ 41,000 per year, while a housekeeper can earn up to $ 35,000 per year.

Munsch speculates that another reason why men do not contribute equally to household chores is that they are not as motivated as women. A study conducted by the University of California and published in the peer-reviewed Sage Journal suggested that women are judged more harshly by society for a cluttered home than men.

“Women’s reputations take a hit when the right things are not done,” Munsch said. “[Men] did not and no one holds them responsible.

Successful relationships

Sharing the household chores is not only an extra step in eradicating gender inequalities, it is also a way to ensure a healthy relationship.

According to Munsch, relationships where men and women have a lot of inequalities in terms of housework and income are less stable.

“We are still assessing how equal the relationship is,” she said. “It’s uncomfortable when you benefit too much or not. “

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People get frustrated when they feel that their partners are not contributing enough to the relationship. On the other hand, their partners are also frustrated when they feel like they are not needed.

Munsch said the division of labor varies depending on the couple. There are certainly successful and happy relationships where men work full time and women stay at home.

But most people want some sort of equality in their relationship and the only way to be sure is for both people to want to take 100% of the work.

“Instead of counting, we don’t count the points at all, but we try to get out of them as much as possible,” she said.

Follow Adrianna Rodriguez on Twitter: @AdriannaUSAT.