Gender convergence in core housework hours: Assessing the relevance of earlier approaches for explaining current trends


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    The increase in dual-earner families over the last few decades raises questions about whether men are sharing the homemaker role now that women are sharing the breadwinner role. Theories of the allocation of unpaid work, such as dependency and exchange approaches, time availability and gender display, were developed during the period when the male-breadwinner family was the dominant family type in many Western societies. Using data collected by three Australian surveys conducted between 1986 and 2005 (N = 5598), I find that the increase in dual-earner families has been accompanied by a convergence in housework hours due to men spending more time and women spending less time doing core housework tasks. Attitudes to gender roles appear to be the key predictor of housework hours overriding the effects of time availability, income and relative income
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)78-96
    Number of pages19
    JournalJournal of Sociology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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