American Househusbands: New Time Use Evidence of Gender Display, 2003–2016

Abstract

The traditional gendered division of household labor, where women did the bulk of all domestic labor, is eroding. The literature on housework, however, does not discuss the ways how to test for the non-traditional gender performances. Using the American Time Use Survey (2003–2016), the present study fills in this research gap and re-tests the relationship between relative earnings and the performance of housework. The analysis of women’s time spent on domestic work shows that the traditional gender display explanation still applies to women’s participation in routine tasks such as cooking and cleaning. Thus, breadwinning wives display gender neutralizing behavior and ‘do’ gender. On the other hand, American men show non-normative gender behavior in cooking and cleaning, but not in maintenance, where they still ‘do’ gender. This paper unveils a persistent traditional gender performance of women in housework and a new pattern for men’s involvement in indoor routine housework.

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Notes

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    Only 3.01% of married women in the sample from the Japan 2009 National Survey on Family and Economic Conditions report earning more than their husbands and only 2.99% of married men in Japan report earning less than their spouses.

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Correspondence to Kamila Kolpashnikova.

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Kolpashnikova, K. American Househusbands: New Time Use Evidence of Gender Display, 2003–2016. Soc Indic Res 140, 1259–1277 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-017-1813-z

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Keywords

  • Gender inequality in unpaid labor
  • Gender
  • Housework
  • Gendered division of labor
  • Gender display
  • Doing gender