I have a question about studies done about housework. This summer, more than one article from more than one source said that women typically do more housework than men. How are these findings obtained? I asked the old man if he thought I did more housework than he does and he said it was pretty even. Then he said it wouldn't be if he didn't include running errands. He is the errand runner of our house. So I might cook more often, but he's the one running to various farmer's markets and whatnot all the time. Do you count running errands as housework? My point is that these things aren't easy to ascertain and I feel really skeptical when I hear people cite this particular information. Who are the contributors to the housework studies and what are the questions? Are couples interviewed together? Are they always heterosexual? And are they usually married? Are they from the suburbs or in a city? Do they always have children? Tell me, how do you define housework and who does more of it in your house?
As an aside, I'd also like to know what findings show about men's attitude toward cleanliness as they age. In college a friend of mine left a half eaten box of pizza on his couch for months and whenever I went over to his house I used the rotten pizza as an ashtray so I wouldn't smell it. Because social norms allow young men to live like slobs, isn't it a given that their future partners would do more housework? Is the problem that women do more housework or that women play with dolls and then grow up to play real house? I wonder if these studies are merely quantitative collections of symptoms rather than findings that motivate change for both men and women.