The labor of sisyphus? Women's and men's reactions to housework

Citation
G. Spitze et Ka. Loscocco, The labor of sisyphus? Women's and men's reactions to housework, SOC SCI Q, 81(4), 2000, pp. 1087-1100
Citations number
25
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Sociology & Antropology
Journal title
SOCIAL SCIENCE QUARTERLY
ISSN journal
0038-4941 → ACNP
Volume
81
Issue
4
Year of publication
2000
Pages
1087 - 1100
Database
ISI
SICI code
0038-4941(200012)81:4<1087:TLOSWA>2.0.ZU;2-B
Abstract
Objective. Considerable attention has been given to the division of househo ld labor in male-female couple households and to assessments of its equity. While women's experience of housework has been characterized as either ted ious and thankless or a more positive expression of love and care, there is very limited empirical evidence about how women (or men) actually experien ce the work. We assess these reactions and investigate how they are influen ced by women's and men's household and paid work contexts and the content o f the housework performed. Methods. This research uses data from married an d cohabiting men and women respondents to the 1987-88 wave of the National Survey of Families and Households. Results. While women's reactions to hous ework are slightly less positive than men's, both are similar and are more positive than negative. There is also similarity across gender in the facto rs explaining these attitudes. Conclusions. The unpleasantness of housework (especially for women) may be less a reflection of the qualities of the wo rk itself than of the consequences of its allocation for women's ability to perform outside roles and for their sense of marital equity.