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Men, Women, and Household Chores

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Men make more housework for women. He may mow the lawn, shovel snow, or fix things around the house. However, he still adds seven hours per week to the load of chores. The information comes from recent research between 1996 and 2005. During this period, husbands and wives from all regions of the US kept time diaries and answered questionnaires.

Single women in their twenties and thirties did twelve hours of housework each week, which was the least amount. Married women had about seventeen hours, which was the most. These numbers are less compared to similar surveys in the past. For example, in 1976, married women had twenty-six hours of housework each week. Men help more now.

The research showed that the situation worsens with children. With three kids, wives took on twenty-eight hours of work around the house. Husbands with children did only ten hours.

There were some surprises too. For example, older men were more likely than younger men to help out. Surveys from thirty years ago showed that men contributed only six hours per week to household tasks.

So what does it all mean? Women have always taken on more responsibility around the house. Although there is more equality in society for women these days, traditional habits remain slow to change.

Preview some of the lesson material:

Brainstorm: Brainstorm with a partner(s) words and ideas associated with "chores" for 2 minutes. Spend another 5 minutes or less discussing the words and ideas together.

True or False?: Guess (before the article) or answer (after the article) whether the sentence is true or false. If false, correct the sentence.

  1. Men make women busier with housework.
  2. Single women did the most amount of housework.
  3. According to the article, men now help at home more than thirty years ago.
  4. Younger men help around the house more than younger men.
  5. Because of tradition, women have more responsibility for household chores.

post-Comprehension: Talk about the following questions in pairs/groups. Remember to support your answers!

  1. How much work do you do around the house each week? What chores do you do?
  2. Why do you think men do fewer chores than women? Please explain.
  3. Why do women have more housework when there are children?
  4. Would you ever want to become a house husband? (Or your spouse?)
  5. Which is more difficult, work in a career or work in the home for the family? Why?

Google Search: Type "chores" into Google. Look at the websites, and/or read additional articles on this topic. Discuss or write an essay about your findings.

Download the lesson:

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