Men with young children claim their care is evenly split, women say otherwise
While attitudes to gender equality have come a long way over the decades, studies show that women are still bearing a bigger burden around the home, with British women on average doing 20 hours of household tasks a week, to men’s 11.5 hours.
Now a new YouGov survey of men and women in heterosexual relationships and who live with their partner shows a significant mismatch in perceived contributions to the household workload.
In almost no areas do either gender consider themselves and their partner to be putting in an equal contribution. And the number of women who say that they themselves are always or mostly the one to do a given chore does not correspond with the number of men who say it is always or mostly their partner doing so (and vice versa). Clearly, some people believe themselves to be putting in more effort than they actually are.
For instance, when it comes to cleaning around the home, 45% of men say the cleaning is done mostly or entirely by their partner. If both men and women living together in heterosexual households are on the same page about who’s doing the household chores, then 45% of women ought to say that the cleaning is done mostly or entirely by themselves. But in fact, two-thirds of women (66%) say that in their relationship the cleaning is all/mostly up to them.
Both figures cannot be right, and given that academic research consistently shows women doing more housework than men, it is likely that much of the discrepancy between our figures is as a result of men overclaiming on their contribution to the household.
In further examples, 63% of women say cooking meals at home is mostly or entirely up to them, but again however only 48% of men say the woman in their life does all of the cooking. While 18% of women say they generally leave the cooking up to the men, 28% of men say they do it most or all of the time.
Likewise, there is disagreement over the shopping. Some six in ten women (61%) say it is on them to organise the grocery shopping, yet only half as many men (35%) admit to leaving it up to their partner.
Three-quarters of women (77%) say they mostly or always wash the clothes, but only 55% of men say they leave it to their partner. Some 26% of men claim it's a split activity, compared to 15% of women. While 20% of men claim they do all the laundry – less than half as many women agree (7%).
When it comes to the household finances, both genders (58% of men and 51% of women) claim that they take it on mostly or solely themselves. Only a quarter of both men and women (25% and 26%) say organising household bills is a shared task.
Among parents, nearly six in ten mothers (59%) say it is mostly or entirely up to them to care for the children, but only 30% of fathers admit to leaving up to their female partner. Most men instead claim that childcare is a task evenly split with their partner (61%), but only 38% of women agree. Only 9% of men say they primarily look after their children, but a mere 1% of women agree that they mostly leave childcare to the men.