A recent study finds that married moms who make more money than dads still do the majority of the housework. Researchers from the University of Bath in the U.K. discovered that despite the fact that women have been earning more and more since 1997, “the gender housework gap persists.” Study author Dr Joanna Sydra looked at more than 6-thousand dual-income couples and analyzed data from 1999 to 2017 to get a better idea of why there’s such an unequal gender divide when it comes to household chores. Through her research, she concludes that the reasons for the gap are “limited male time availability, unequal relative resources and conforming to traditional gender ideology.” And it’s that traditional gender ideology part that’s key. Sydra thinks it could come down to moms who make more money than their husbands feeling like they’re “deviating” from the tradition of the male breadwinner and as a result, the couple kind of overcorrects. She explains, “What may be happening is that when men earn less than women, couples neutralize this by increasing traditionality through housework.” So basically, when the mom makes more, she ends up doing more around the house and her husband ends up doing less to try to balance out this “abnormal” situation by leaning into conventional gender norms.
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