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Chore Wars

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Chore Wars

There has always been a division of labor between men and women. Most recently, men seem to be chipping in more in parenting even to the extent of changing diapers and bottle feeding (which was unheard of in my mother’s day). More men today mop floors, wash dishes and do laundry.  But overall men only spend an average of 16 minutes versus 52 minutes for women “cleaning” according the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Here are some other related statistics:

*Animal and Pet Care – Women 6 min. – Men 5 min.
*Home maintenance repair & decorating – Women 5 min. – Men 11min.
*Lawn, garden and houseplants – Women 8 min. – Men 16 min.
*Kitchen, food, clean-up – Women 11 min. – Men 3 min.
*45% of men consider it their job to clean
*45% of men clean as a “gift” to their spouse
*29% of women decide who is responsible for cleaning and delegate chores
*75% men take the garbage out
*57% of women way they want more help from their partner/spouse
*35% of couples discuss and divide cleaning duties

Cleaning product companies are re-tooling products and advertising to help men learn how to do unfamiliar cleaning tasks to give women more peace of mind about delegating. Men’s enthusiasm for cleaning gadgets is influencing household purchasing. 

According to Joshua Coleman (author and psychologist), “The State of the house is more likely to cause a woman to feel embarrassment or shame than her spouse, even if he is the primary offender.” 

P&G recently introduced a campaign dubbed “Man Up, Clean Up” for their Swiffer mops and dusters. It urges men to take on more cleaning chores but it talks to women, too. Husbands do laundry in Tide commercial (a first in the brand’s 66 years). More companies want to ensure men are represented in their general consumer research.

Source: The Wall Street Journal by Ellen Byron

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