Study Finds That Highly Educated New Parents Do Not Equally Share Household Chores

A new study led by Claire Kamp Dush, an associate professor of human sciences at Ohio State University, provides evidence that women continue to take on far more household and childcare responsibilities than men. 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 the study of highly educated, two-earner couples who were having their first child, both members of a couple completed detailed time diaries of what they were doing on the same days and at the same times during a period three months after having a child. 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. But on days when both members of the couple were off, women spent 46 to 49 minutes relaxing while men did child care or housework on their day off. But men spent about twice that amount of time in leisure – about 101 minutes – while their partners did some kind of work.

Dr. Kamp Dush stated “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.”

Dr. Kamp Dush is a graduate of the University of Illinois. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in human development and family studies from Pennsylvania State University.

The study, “What Are Men Doing While Women Perform Extra Unpaid Labor? Leisure and Specialization at the Transitions to Parenthood,” was published in the journal Sex Roles. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study

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