Friday, August 7, 2009

Men, Women, Relationships and Housework

I get a daily newsletter called Science Daily. In today's newsletter there is a feature article on men who do housework and getting the girl. Of course this by-line caught my eye and I simply had to read it. An economist from Oxford University in England did a study on marriage and cohabiting rates in developed countries and found that these rates are linked to attitudes towards the roles of men and women and their views on who is responsible for doing housework and looking after the children. This female researcher found that both men and women are more likely to want a live-in relationship with the opposite sex if they think their partner will do a share of the housework and childcare duties. Your chances of getting married or living with someone are probably greatest in Great Britain, the Scandinavian countries and the US. Australia rated the lowest while Canada was not included in the study of 12 developed countries.

Several things stand out for me about this study.
  1. A female economist, not a male economist, is spending her time analyzing attitudes towards housework and childcare. She sampled 13,500 men and women, aged between 20 to 45 years of age. That is a lot of interviews to do and process. A few dollars were spent doing this work. She is not the only one spending time on such profound issues. There are related stories listed in this article about married men doing less housework than live-in boyfriends; exactly how much housework does a husband do; and, just doing 20 minutes of weekly housework will boost mental health. I wonder if it was hard to get research funding to do these studies. I think having someone else do 20 minutes of housework for you would do wonders for your mental and physical outlook.
  2. People are not interested in getting married or living together if one of them is messy, a lousy housekeeper and/or not interested in having children. What happened to love, lust or marrying for fame and fortune. The researcher also points out that people are asking the question about whether they will be better off getting married versus being single.
  3. There must be a lot of single people in Australia. These men must not be the marrying kind.
  4. If we need to worry about birthrates and people not getting married or living together, should housekeeping skills be a mandatory course in high school or university?
  5. I now need to canvas my friends on whether they were attracted to their mates based on their housekeeping skills and the potential for expert dusting and vacuuming.
Until next time.......