Catherine Lutz Zois, Ph.D.
Although husbands today may contribute more home and family labor than in previous decades, the type of contributions they make tend to be those of a “helpmate,” leaving the responsibility for organizing and managing housework and childcare to their wives. Gordon and Whelan-Berry (2005) found that husbands generally spent more time “doing” rather than “managing” in the household. The present study sought to examine working wives’ perceptions of how much their husbands “do” and/or “manage” in terms of housework and childcare. Results provide quantitative support for the high incidence of high-doing but low-managing husbands and shed light on the different implications that husbands’ various contributions have for wives’ marital and life satisfaction. Husbands’ “doing” behavior emerges above their “managing” behavior in terms of its importance in predicting wives’ satisfaction, suggesting that the “helpmate husband” arrangement is not only tolerated, but perhaps even preferred among some women.
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Kincaid, Reilly Kate, "Wives’ Perceptions of Husbands’ Housework and Parenting Contributions" (2018). Honors Theses. 164.