Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, homeschooling has been added to parent’s to-do list, and according to a new poll by Morning Consult for The New York Times, women are bearing the brunt of the workload.
But according to the fathers – they do not agree. Half of those with children under 12 reported spending more time on it than their spouse but only 3 percent of women say their spouse is actually doing more. A whopping eighty percent of mothers say they spend more time on it.
And while both men and women are both doing more housework as well as child care than usual during the lockdown, the results suggest the division of work is not any different or equal than they were before according to the survey.
Seventy percent of women reveal how they are fully or mostly responsible for housework during the lockdown, while 66 percent say so for child care, both of which are fairly the same stats during pre-pandemic times.
That being said, about 20 percent of men agree their spouses are fully or mostly responsible for both housework and child care.
Who is spending more time home-schooling your children or helping them with distance learning?
And 20 percent of men say they are fully or mostly responsible for these tasks during lockdown while only around 2 percent of women agree.
While it is not possible to be 110% sure on which perceptions are absolutely correct, years of past research using time diaries have consistently shown that men usually overestimate the amount they do and that women do more. Can I get an amen?!
Jokes aside, many researchers, as well as couples, assumed women were taking on the extra workload during the pandemic, but this is among the first efforts to quantify it at a national level.
Who is currently most responsible for housework, such as cooking and cleaning?
In April, the survey asked questions of a representative group of 2,200 Americans – the questions about housework as well as child care were asked only of people who said they lived with partners or children.
In addition, in a not-yet-published survey of domestic labor during the pandemic, by a University of Utah sociologist, Daniel L. Carlson, and colleagues, it was also found in a similar pool of men reported doing more than women said they did. The survey also revealed that mothers were primarily responsible for homeschooling, despite couples otherwise sharing child care responsibilities.
According to research, major changes to domestic routines at times have the potential to create new, more equitable ones. But this crisis, in particular, seems to be cementing traditional gender roles.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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