If you’re a woman who’s a workaholic, get married. If you’re a man who’s lazy, get married, too.
Better yet, a lazy man should look for a workaholic woman to tie the knot with, and a workaholic woman should look for a lazy man? Oops, could that be realistic?
Well, a new study tends to support that. In precise terms, the study said having a husband creates an extra seven hours of housework each week for women while for men, getting married saves an hour of weekly chores.
“Men tend to work more outside the home, while women take on more of the household labor,” said lead researcher Frank Stafford, an economist at University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research.
In general, marriage means more housework for women and less for men, Stafford said, adding that “the situation gets worse for women when they have children.”
Single women in their 20s and 30s did the least housework, about 12 weekly hours, while married women in their 60s and 70s did the most — about 21 hours a week.
Men showed a somewhat different pattern, with older men picking up the broom more often than younger men. Single guys worked the hardest around the house, trumping all age groups of married men.
Having kids boosts house chores even further. With more than three kids, for instance, wives took on more of the extra work, clocking about 28 hours a week compared with husbands’ 10 hours.
But times are changing, the researchers noted. In the United States, women busied themselves with 26 weekly hours of sweeping-and-dusting work in 1976. But in 2005, this number was reduced to 17.
The reverse is true with men. In 1976, men only spent six hours of housework. But in 2005, the number rose to 13.
So, the figures actually show that women are getting lazier and the men are getting more industrious, which appears to contradict the first premise of the study.
The figures also seem to indicate that there will come a time when husband and wife will share equal workload at home. Or they may reverse role. The man can take of feeding the baby while the woman climbs the roof to fix a leak.
“Marriage is no longer a man’s path to less housework,” Stafford concluded.