More Men Should Participate in Household Duties


Kaitlynn Trinnh, Staff Writer

Ever since I was little, I’ve observed the same pattern: men go to work while women stay home and take care of the house. Being young, I never knew what the problem was; actually, I believed that there was no problem with this dynamic whatsoever. Growing up in a home that adhered to traditional gender roles, I thought it was only fair for my mom to do the housework because my dad was the breadwinner for my family. Looking back, my stance on gender roles was definitely flawed. Although traditional gender roles are somewhat outdated, especially in this day and age, I’ve been surrounded by these roles my entire life, sometimes unknowingly. Becoming more aware of traditional gender roles has opened my eyes to the stereotypes women often have to face and fight. In hopes of an increasingly equal world, women should not be stereotypically confined to the household by societal norms, and more men should take the initiative to participate in household duties. Universally, there is support for women to pursue careers, but as an increasing number of women enter the workforce, is it proportional to the number of men willing to aid in housework? 

Currently, men are more likely than ever to embrace the idea of gender equality because humanity is more open to change nowadays, but they are still inactive when it comes to household chores. 

The amount of housework has declined by 23% over the past half-century. Most of this decline is because of new technological inventions: dishwashers, laundry machines, dryers, vacuums, etc. Moreover, men have also doubled their participation in housework since the 1960s, but women still do the majority of chores. 

Men are less likely to take care of chores that are inside the home. Usually, men take the initiative of chores outside the house, such as car upkeep and yard work, whereas women are more likely to handle indoor tasks, like cleaning or cooking. However, why do men prefer outdoor tasks? Well, the chores that men do often occur on a weekly basis versus a daily basis–cutting their participation to an all-time low. The housework women partake in happens nearly several times a day. 

Why is it important for gender inequality to be addressed and fought in the realm of household chores? For one, masculinity is strongly associated with earning a high income and avoiding feminine activities such as cooking, dancing, and shopping. However, now that more women are entering the workforce, the gender roles must expand in relation. A major reason men refuse to do household chores is because it is stereotypically “unmanly”. This “unmanly” excuse is outdated, and men splitting household chores with women should become normalized.

University of Utah’s assistant professor Dan Carlson’s study shows the satisfaction couples experience when various tasks are split. The research demonstrated that housework between the two genders was not split equally, ultimately affecting the satisfaction and affection shown in relationships. For women, it was primarily about dishwashing. If a woman were to complete it all by herself, she felt discontent; however, if she split it with her partner, she felt satisfied. Additionally, men were at their happiest when they shared errands with their spouse and were the least happy when they did more chores. 

Performing household chores daily is just as effective as partaking in most physical activities when it boils down to achieving good health, including keeping your heart healthy and extending your lifespan. However, doing too much housework perpetuates the opposite effect: poor health. A study executed by Dr. Huong Dinh found that usually women are suffering from health problems since they have the tendency to overwork themselves from partaking in too many household chores.  

“[The inequitable] division of housework [explains] why women have poorer health beyond the threshold of 3 hours per day. In order to achieve equity in health, there should be a balance in the distribution of household task[s] among men and women,” explained Tilman Brand, a researcher from the University of Bremen. 

Not only is splitting housework beneficial for women both psychologically and physically, it also benefits men by strengthening their relationships with their spouses. Now that times are changing towards a more progressive, equal society, traditional gender role stereotypes need to be completely revamped into ‘genderless roles’–specific duties shouldn’t be placed upon people based solely on their gender. As a more open-minded and liberal generation of adolescents emerges, it is time for a “gender revolution” in which we, as a society, eliminate traditional gender roles. 


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