Sex Roles

, Volume 63, Issue 11–12, pp 767–780 | Cite as

Why Do Women Do the Lion’s Share of Housework? A Decade of Research

  • Mylène Lachance-GrzelaEmail author
  • Geneviève Bouchard
Feminist Forum Review Article


The body of recent American research indicates that women continue to perform the vast majority of household labor. Understanding the conditions under which couples can achieve an egalitarian division of household labor constitutes one of the first steps in attaining gender equity in the private and public spheres. This article discusses the state of research on the division of household labor published between 2000 and 2009. After a discussion of conceptualization and methodological issues, we review empirical findings that support or challenge the micro- and macro-level perspectives (focusing on individual characteristics and national contexts, respectively) that have been proposed to explain the gendered allocation of labor. We then review studies focusing on the interplay between these two prominent perspectives.


Couples Division of household labor Gender Housework 



This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversité de MonctonMonctonCanada

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