Playing Catch-up: Partnered Women's Housework on Weekends versus Weekdays

Sanjiv Gupta, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Liana C. Sayer, University of Maryland

A key, typically tacit, assumption of the quantitative housework research—indeed of time allocation scholarship generally—is that there is an average daily pattern of time use which can fairly represent most days. We usually ignore the distinction between weekdays and weekends by using measures like “usual weekly hours” spent on activities like domestic labor. Even when we have data on separate days, we tend to aggregate them into weekly estimates. In this paper we analyze separately the time spent on housework on weekdays and weekends by women in heterosexual marital and cohabiting relationships (hereafter, “partnered women”). Our results show that these women behave quite differently on weekdays and weekends, and motivate a substantial refinement of the conventional “time availability” model of women’s domestic labor.

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Presented in Poster Session 1: Marriage, Unions, Families and Households