UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Housework : here today and here tomorrow McCaughey, Catherine


This thesis tests two competing hypothesis: 'adaptive partnership, and 'dependent labour'. It endeavors to determine which hypothesis best explains time budget data on the division of housework. The data was gathered from 6484 married respondents in the Canadian General Social Survey of 1986. It is examined for the effects of gender, employment,and the presence or absence of a child under 12. The data was also used to replicate a study of Vancouver couples from 1971. The effects on time use of these factors was then compared for the two studies. The data was then examined for the effects of age, education, and income on house worktime use. Male homemaker's and female homemaker's house worktimes were compared to determine if their time allocationwas similar. The study found that being female and having a small child increased housework time. Employment decreased time women spent in housework but their total workload hours increased because of their combined housework and paid work times. Total work times were greater in 1986 than in 1971. Women's weekly workload hours were only slightly higher than men's in 1986, a change from 1971. Women in 1986 spent much longer in housework time than men but men had longer paid work weeks. The 'dependent labour' theory was consistent with the findings that women spent much more time in housework and less time in paid employment than men. The 'adaptive partnership' hypothesis did not explain why men and women's work weeks are similar but women spent much longer times in housework. Education and income did not show an effect on men's housework time. Women's housework time increased slightly with the increase of education and income, a result confounded with their participation rates in paid employment. For both men and women work hours increased around the child rearing years in the family life cycle. The data for male homemakers show they allocate housework time in much the same way as women homemakers although their total housework times are slightly less.

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