Thursday, October 19, 2006

the second shift

New stats on housework, childcare, and paid work in the New York Times here , for example:

"Over all, the researchers said, employed mothers have less free time and “far greater total workloads than stay-at-home mothers.” The workweek for an employed mother averages 71 hours, almost equally divided between paid and unpaid work, compared with a workweek averaging 52 hours for mothers who are not employed outside the home."

I also note that, while the first paragraph refers to a sharp increase in the time fathers spend doing housework and childcare, they're still only doing about half the work of women, on average.

Housework: Men, 7 hours. Women: 13
Childcare: Men, 10 hours. Women: 19.

No wonder women who can afford to are doing less paid work: they end up working almost a whole other job on top of their 40/week when they have children.

I do like this bit:

"But, the researchers say, the conventional wisdom is not borne out by the data they collected from families asked to account for their time. The researchers found, to their surprise, that married and single parents spent more time teaching, playing with and caring for their children than parents did 40 years ago."

Which suggests to me that people who think women who work outside the home are bad, evil mommies should put a sock in it.

Now, I'm no sociologist, but I do recall from Soc 101 that sample size & makeup, not to mention data-gathering techniques are important for understanding surveys. I guess the book has all of that but there's no mention in the article of who was surveyed, how many were surveyed, etc. It does say it uses self-reported data, which can be pretty unreliable.

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