American economist Frank P. Stafford led the study based on the “Panel Study of Income Dynamics,” which has been conducted out of the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research (ISR) since 1968.
The forty-year Stafford study, which used a representative sample of U.S. citizens, had the participants use time diaries and questionnaires to record the amount of housework they did each week, and the types of housework.
The researchers considered housework such things as washing dishes, washing clothes, cooking, and other such jobs around the house, but did not include home repairs, gardening, mowing the grass, washing the car, and other such tasks.
The study showed that the average amount of housework performed by women each week in 1976 was 26 hours, while the average housework done by women in 2005 dropped to 17 hours, a decrease of nine hours per week.
Men, on the other hand, went from six hours of housework in 1976 to 13 hours in 2005, an increase of seven hours each week.
However, after looking at the interchange between single and married men and women, the Michigan study concluded that married women do about seven more hours of housework each week because they are married—that is, their husband causes them an additional 7 hours of work. However, married men actually do about one hour less chores each week after getting married.
The study, along with other similar studies, also found the women take on more inside household chores after they get married, while married men do more outside jobs around the house, like mowing the grass, gardening, and painting.
So, married men end up doing work, but more of it is outside the house, rather than inside.
What also got the researchers' attention was the period of time from 1996 to 2005, about ten years. See what was discovered!
They found that men and women, single in their 20s in 1996, did more housework if they got married than if they stayed single over this ten-year period.
The study found single women in their 20s and 30s did the least amount of housework—about 12 hours per week—while married women in their 60s and 70s did the most housework—about 21 hours per week.
The study also found that older men did more housework than younger men, but single men did more housework—at all ages—than married men.
The researchers specifically studied results from married couples with more than three children.
They found that married women with three or more children did about 28 hours of housework each week, while married men, also with three or more kids, did only about 10 hours each week.
This article is based on: University of Michigan (2008, April 3). Exactly How Much Housework Does A Husband Create?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 5, 2008.