real life

The annoying truth about men, housework... And divorce.

Just when you think men and women are well on their way to becoming equal you realise that’s definitely not the case. In what I consider the most annoying claim by researchers of 2016 so far, a new report on equality has found that marriages in which men do chores are more likely to end in divorce.

See what I mean by annoying?

At first I assumed this was one of those lame surveys made up by a bunch of old-fashioned men (*cough*Donald Trump*cough) who want to discourage equality. Sadly it’s reputable research out of the Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Science in Norway.

Next I tried to blame it on the peculiarity of Norwegian men however as I read through the report I found a few things hitting a touch too close to home and researchers even conclude that couples are probably better off living in a “traditional” household.

Mamamia Out Loud on why Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are getting divorced. Article continues after this video.

I think I’d rather get divorced than do that.

Norwegian researchers examined how almost 20,000 married men and women divide housework and childcare. The results found that 65 per cent of couples divide childcare almost equally but not boring old housework, which women still get stuck with.

Couples may be better off living in a “traditional” household where women do all the housework if they want to stay together, according to a report from the Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Science.

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Norwegian researchers were interested to see how married and cohabiting men and women divided housework and childcare throughout various life stages. They analyzed two separate studies involving nearly 20,000 men and women aged 18 to 79: the study of Life Course, Generation and Gender, and the study of the Norwegian Life Course, Ageing, and Generations. Participants respectively answered questions about the division of housework and childcare; their attitudes toward gender equality; as well as other variables like life stage and social class.

The results showed 65 percent of couples equally or near-equally divided childcare, but not housework: Women reported doing all or almost all of the work in 11 percent of couples and “somewhat more of the work” in 60 percent of couples. About 25 percent of couples divided the work more equally, with younger couples, childless couples, and couples where the woman had a full-time job among those more likely to split domestic chores.

While the finding was that marriages in which men do more chores have a higher rate of divorce, it may not be the chores that are to blame. Instead researchers say the finding was that “non-traditional couples” which typically share the housework equally are more likely to divorce.

“The more a man does in the home, the higher the divorce rate,” said Thomas Hansen, co-author of the study entitled “Gender Equality At Home,” according to AFP. While researchers found no or very little cause-and-effect, they believe that the observation could be due to “modern” attitudes.

It may be traditional couples “hold a high value of marriage and a more traditional attitude towards divorce,” while untraditional couples “may hold less of a traditional or modern view of marriage, whereby marital dissatisfaction more easily leads to marital break-up,” according to the report.

“Modern couples are just that, both in the way they divide up the chores and in their perception of marriage” as being less sacred, Hansen said, stressing it was all about values. “In these modern couples, women also have a high level of education and a well-paid job, which makes them less dependent on their spouse financially. They can manage much easier if they divorce.”