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Satisfaction with Housework: Examining the paradox


Baxter, JH and Western, M, Satisfaction with Housework: Examining the paradox, Sociology, 32, (1) pp. 101-120. ISSN 0038-0385 (1998) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1177/0038038598032001007


This paper examines men's and women's levels of satisfaction with the domestic division of labour. In most households women continue to undertake the bulk of childcare and housework duties and consequently spend significantly greater amounts of time on domestic labour than men. Men report high levels of satisfaction with these arrangements, but surprisingly we find that almost half of our sample of women also report satisfaction with these arrangements. This finding has been reported in studies from several countries. Our paper attempts to explain this apparent paradox. Using data from a recent national survey in Australia we explore gender differences in levels of satisfaction with the domestic division of labour and examine women's levels of satisfaction with household work arrangements in relation to a number of factors such as labour force attachment, attitudes to gender roles and husbands' participation in domestic labour. Our findings raise implications for the meaning of equity within the household.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Sociology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Baxter, JH (Dr Janeen Baxter)
UTAS Author:Western, M (Professor Mark Western)
ID Code:13101
Year Published:1998
Web of Science® Times Cited:66
Deposited By:Sociology and Social Work
Deposited On:1998-08-01
Last Modified:2011-08-08

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