Q:

Why do women traditionally carry out more domestic chores than men?

A:

The traditionally more domestic role of women within a household is attributable to a number of increasingly obsolete factors, such as fewer working hours and their lower financial contribution. Even where a woman earns a higher wage or works more hours than her husband, however, it is still often the case that she will do most of the domestic chores. This is likely to be due to inherited gender roles and cultural norms.

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Researchers have pointed out that it is often easier for people to assume, rather than challenge, the roles and routines observed around them. In the United States, the notion of the male as the primary financial contributor, or breadwinner, within a household is still prevalent. In other countries where gender equality is more developed, such as Sweden, women tend to do an equal amount of housework as their spouse.

Many high-earning women may also carry out the bulk of domestic chores because of a subconscious feeling of guilt at parting with cultural norms. The reason for marriage has traditionally been a functional one, wherein men are expected to provide for their wife and children, while the wife takes care of housekeeping. Where a woman challenges this traditional status quo, she may find herself instinctively overcompensating for it.

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