A study published by Cambridge University, claims that men actually like to do the housework. Domestic arguments decline and the general happiness of the home improves as husbands and boyfriends do more of household chores, it says.
To conduct the study sociologists used data from the regular European Social Survey which compares the lifestyles of people across Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, France and Britain, reports The Telegraph.
All of the participants were asked standard questions to measure their happiness such as whether they feel “fulfilled” in life and whether they wake up feeling refreshed. The interviewees were also asked a series of questions designed to measure their levels of “work-life conflict”.
Men feel guilty when they don’t do their share of the work around the home, the results showed. But it was also found out that men prefer a quiet life with the domestic chores to a noisier one with a discontented other half.
Experts confessed that they had expected to find that conflict in the home worsened and the well-being of men declined when they did more housework. However, the opposite happened.
“It may be because more men support gender equality, so they feel uncomfortable if the woman does most of the housework, and because women are becoming more and more assertive and making their dissatisfaction with lazy partners plain,” the study said.
Prof Jacqueline Scott, professor of empirical sociology at Cambridge, co-author of a book on gender roles, which includes the study, explained that this may be because more men support gender equality than in the past.
However, Prof Scott added that it may also be that women nowadays are more likely to be vocal in making their feelings about lazy husbands known. “Times are changing,” she said.
“As a more equitable philosophy becomes the ideal, if you are experiencing something which doesn’t live up to that to are more ready to express dissatisfaction – and certainly that is what is perceived by men.”
She went on: “There were really good reasons from the literature for thinking that it would be women who really benefited if the men did more but that is not what we found and that is what is interesting.”
“I think that really is because by and large women have taken it for granted that they would have to do a double shift. It is not that their wellbeing rises if he is doing more on this measure.”
As The Daily Mail concludes, the results of the study are in contrast to those which claim that, despite the advance of women into education and careers, men still their allow wives and partners to do the great bulk of the housework.
The latest study, conducted by Professor Jacqueline Scott and a team of academics, covers 30,000 people in 34 countries who were asked of the amounts of time they spend on jobs such as cooking, washing, cleaning, shopping and maintaining the house.
It said: “Contrary to expectations, men, not women, benefited from a less traditional gender role divide in household chores.”
“This suggests that men may be uncomfortably conscious of work getting in the way of their doing a fair share of the chores at home, whereas women have been doing a double shift.”