Surprise surprise! men don't do dishes

It has taken an international survey to tell us what most wives already knew - men don't do dishes!

A new study has revealed that men, especially the married kind, do less housework than women.

In a survey conducted by researchers at George Mason University, men were found to do an average of nine and a half hours of housework per week compared with an average of more than 21 hours per week done by women.

The researchers surveyed 17,000 men and women in 27 countries and found that married men were the worse offenders, doing far less housework than men who lived with their girlfriends but were not married.

The researchers say this suggests that marriage is an institution which may have an effect on how people behave in a relationship.

The researchers compared the division of household labor among married and cohabitating (unmarried) couples and found marriage appears to have a traditionalizing effect on couples even among couples who see men and women as equal.

The survey was conducted in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Latvia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K., and the U.S.

It was revealed that on average men reported performing 32% of total housework and women reported 74%; the results were based on how much housework each participant said they did, and only one member of each couple was questioned.

Sweden, Norway, and Finland were found to have the most equitable division of housework between men and women; these countries also had the highest percentage of cohabitating couples in the study.

The researchers say couples with an egalitarian view of gender are more likely to share housework equally, but the results showed that even couples who viewed each other as equal partners did not share the housework equally.

They say marriage changes the division of household labor among couples and this applies to many countries.

Sociologist Shannon Davis of George Mason University says couples are influenced by similar factors when deciding how to divide the housework and the way the society has defined the meaning of marriage affects behavior.

The research is published in the Journal of Family Issues.

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