How Does The Average Day of Men and Women Differ?
August 3, 2014 4:27 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for some sort of examples about how the average day of a woman vs a man might differ, especially in regards to the "second shift" and household labor. I know I've seen these before, but for the life I'm not finding them.

I'm looking for examples the show how woman do little bits of work here and there, often while the men in their lives are not doing them. Examples, wife folding laundry while husband is "decompressing" from work. Mother getting children ready for school in the morning while also getting ready for work, husband just gets ready for work.

I'm sure I've seen them in both an overall hours spent by each, along with a time break down (6am, wake up, make coffee. 6:15am put a load of laundry in the dryer. 6:45am hop in the shower. etc . . .) ideally in a few different configurations, traditional couples, couples with and with out kids, couples with more and less egalitarian relationships.

If it helps understand what I'm asking for, I'm trying to find some examples to show SO how chore doing is something you only do when things get so bad they can't be ignored (and then some) by showing how doing chores realistically happens every day and might only be 10-20 minutes here and there, but the gender differences in chore behavior add up (why in a more egalitarian household, there might be more chores that each person does throughout the day.)

Specific links or studies available would be appreciated.
posted by LANA! to Human Relations (9 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
The American Time Use Survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics has a lot of this type of data. It's pretty dense but here's one table that shows differences between men and women.
posted by desjardins at 4:34 PM on August 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Here's an infographic that is based on data from the survey desjardins linked to above. It doesn't quite do what you want, but it's close (and neat).
posted by dizziest at 4:44 PM on August 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

These posts from Bluemilk encapsulate it from an individual point of view.
posted by geek anachronism at 4:45 PM on August 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

And here's another way of visualizing that same information.
posted by dizziest at 4:45 PM on August 3, 2014

If a book will work, Hochschild and Machung's classic The Second Shift has you covered. The original came out in 1989, but the updated 2012 edition cites more recent studies and statistics and also has a new afterword. Here's a review of the original.
posted by Aster at 4:46 PM on August 3, 2014

I started going down a rabbit hole and found a bunch of scholarly articles, although since I can't access most of them I'm not sure which one might specifically apply to your question. This 1991 article on Gender Segregation of Housework is cited by many more recent articles. A Google scholar search for Time Allocation Among Couples is what got me that far. Another search term is "time diary" - that's where the "5:45 washed dishes" stuff comes in.

The Centre for Time Use Research has lots of raw data and links to other sites.
posted by desjardins at 4:51 PM on August 3, 2014

Here are some statistics. In short, women spend significantly more time on housework, and far more time on child care. And men spend far more time working at paid jobs. Men get more leisure time, while women get more sleep.
posted by John Cohen at 6:28 PM on August 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

It depends where you are.


Slovenian men are at the top in chore equity, followed by the men of Denmark and Estonia. At the other extreme is India, where men spend just 19 minutes each day cleaning. To compensate, their female compatriots do more cleaning than women in any other country: Five hours each day.
posted by sebastienbailard at 8:27 PM on August 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

FiveThirtyEight had a Mother's Day post analysing the Time Use Survey mentioned above in terms of how mothers spent their time vs. fathers.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:54 PM on August 8, 2014

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