This linked article says that women STILL do the bulk of daily housework chores.
Study: Housework still women's burden
July 28, 2006
BY ANDREW HERRMANN Staff Reporter
Papa might not just come home and kick back with his pipe and slippers anymore, but a new government report shows that American women are still doing more of the work around the house.
A detailed look at how Americans spend their days, released Thursday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, finds:
*More than half of women said they had done housework in the last 24 hours, compared with about one in five men.
'THE 800-POUND GORILLA' OF LEISURE
One thing that surprised researchers was the amount of television people watch, said Bureau of Labor Statistics economist Rachel Krantz-Kent. The tube accounts for about half of America's leisure time, she said.
Of the 79 percent of Americans who reported watching TV on the day they were interviewed about, respondents tuned in for an average of about 3 hours and 15 minutes. Men watched about 3-1/2 hours a day compared with women, who watched about 3 hours.
TV is "the 800-pound gorilla of American leisure," said John Robinson, director of the American Use of Time Project at the University of Maryland.
Robinson, who has studied how people spend their days for 40 years, said the amount of time spent watching TV has almost doubled since 1965, according to his analysis.
Though computer use may be nibbling at the edges of time devoted to watching TV, Robinson noted the explosion of cable channels. "There's something on there somebody likes," he said.
*Women still are more likely to make the meals and do the cleanup -- 66 percent vs. 37 percent.
*Of those with children, women spent twice as much time as men caring for the kids.
*Meanwhile, employed men reported working and work-related activities at a higher rate -- about 81/2 hours a day, an hour more than women. They also spent more time doing lawn and garden work and watching TV.
"We're a long way from the egalitarian society," said John Robinson, director of the American Use of Time Project at the University of Maryland. But, he said, the division of labor has improved. In 1965, for example, women did 85 percent of all the household work.
'I didn't need a study'
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has been asking people about their days for the last three years to compile its "American Time Use Survey." For the latest report, the department, along with the U.S. Census Bureau, queried about 13,000 Americans in 2005.
As for the disparity between the work women do around the home and that of their husbands, "I didn't need a study to tell me that,'' said Colette Dever, a 48-year-old west suburban married mother of four.
Dever, who works part time as an office worker, said she does "almost everything" around the house. But, with her husband, Mike, leaving the house at 6:15 a.m. for his engineering job and returning at 7 p.m. or later, it's a matter of division of labor.
"I'm sure if I said, 'Do this,' he would. But it's hard to say when he comes home at 7, 'It's time to vacuum now,' " said Dever.
Joanne Brundage, executive director of the Elmhurst-based Mothers and More, a support group with 140 chapters across the country, said sharing of household duties is a common gripe among the group's 6,000 members.
"Their complaints, quite frankly, are that men aren't stepping up," said Brundage.
'50-50 would be nice'
True, men today do pitch in more than their father's generation, she acknowledged. But, she said, the understanding is that "if a guy does anything, he's a saint; if the mother doesn't do something, it's like, what's wrong with her?"
Brundage, 54, calls her husband, Richard, a "pretty good equal partner" for his involvement in raising their three children. But when it comes to housework and cooking, she does it. "I'm not a very good delegator," she said.
Joy A. Thomas, a 39-year-old Baxter Healthcare executive, said "50-50 would be nice" when it comes to work around the house, but it may not be realistic. When her husband, Michael, an operations manager for a freight company, is coaching soccer and hockey, "I don't mind doing all the cooking" because his involvement is good for their kids, she said.
The Glenview resident admits she is fortunate to be able to afford a compromise: They have a cleaning lady.
Time expert Robinson jokes that he expects men to match women in terms of household chores around the year 2043 -- "when the first male mother is created."