I Can’t Get No Satisfaction: Gender Attitudes, Housework Divisions, and Partnership Satisfaction

Leah Ruppanner, University of Melbourne
Maria Brandén, Stockholm University

Couples’ housework divisions have been well theorized and empirically supported. Yet, less is known about how these divisions impact individuals’ subjective reports of satisfaction. Applying data of Swedish youth from the 2009 Young Adult Panel Study (YAPS), we assess whether inconsistencies in respondents gender role expectations and housework divisions structure reports of partnership satisfaction. Utilizing couple data, we then explore whether inconsistencies in partners’ gender role ideologies and housework reports impact partnership satisfaction reports.Our initial results indicate that women with unequal housework divisions, regardless of their gender role expectations or inconsistencies in attitudes and behaviors, report lower partnership satisfaction. By contrast, men who hold traditional ideologies and have traditional housework divisions (partners do more) report greater marital satisfaction. Collectively, these results indicate differential gender effects of attitudes and behaviors on partnership satisfaction. Additional investigation will assess whether these discrepancies contribute to relationship dissolution.

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Presented in Session 52: Gender in Families