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Men urged to train themselves to notice household chores: study

59 Comments
By Helen ROWE

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What a waste of time, the world gets madder by the day.

-9 ( +9 / -18 )

Way to stereotype AFP.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

Way to stereotype AFP.

It's not stereotyping. Data shows that men do less housework than women in pretty much every country. And read the article - it's based off studies.

11 ( +17 / -6 )

Have the philosophers got nothing better to do?

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

The "study" assumes that a " few crumbs" matter. It is written with the default that the woman's standard is the appropriate base. Flummery, if the spouse wants more involvement, say it, no need for a "study".

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

I'm highly trained in the art of finding housework to do.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

You can tell who are male and female just by their comments.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Man, what I would give to be a stay-at-home dad. Beats sitting in a Japanese office all day long pretending to work.

2 ( +12 / -10 )

It all depends on the partners and their relationship., some wants their partners to be part of it others DO NOT. and in most many cases the entire family with it's chores are based on it.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This is the kind of "science" that makes a mockery of peer review. Women notice these small details because they have evolved to keep a clean home to protect their children, while men have evolved with longer vision to spot and hunt dinner. There are exceptions of course, but it's the norm. To my wife, a crumb on the floor may as well be a beachball but was barely aware of the hills behind our building, whereas I can happily look straight past the pile of stuff on my desk and easily identify the type of plane taking off a couple of km away.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Algernon LaCroixToday 09:26 am JST

This is the kind of "science" that makes a mockery of peer review. Women notice these small details because they have evolved to keep a clean home to protect their children, while men have evolved with longer vision to spot and hunt dinner.

That is not how evolution works.

There are exceptions of course, but it's the norm. To my wife, a crumb on the floor may as well be a beachball but was barely aware of the hills behind our building, whereas I can happily look straight past the pile of stuff on my desk and easily identify the type of plane taking off a couple of km away.

Let's not even make this gendered. People have a choice. They can train themselves to notice when something needs cleaned up, or they can be lazy and ignore it, and let their partner/roommate/spouse/child do all the work. One of these acts is childish and selfish, the other is what a mature adult would do.

We can tell what kind of person someone is by the choice they make.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Not trying to sound sexist but if 70% of women feel feel they are fully or mostly responsible for the housework it’s probably because 70% of men feel they are fully or mostly responsible for financing a home for said housework.

And I’ve dated plenty of women who were just plain dirty with no organizational skills whatsoever. And then the ones that could do “housework” on the surface but would never look under the hood and didn’t realize that cleaning the shower involves cleaning the drain which is clogged with her hair anyway.

It’s like anyone, men and women, who grew up in a middle class family in Japan and was a kid in the 90’s cannot even take care of themselves today, do laundry, cook or clean. No wonder there is a birth deficit in this country!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I found this a very interesting article, instead of relying on tired old stereotypes of who does what/who evolved to do what, and personal anecdotes, there might be an actual psychological reason behind it. I'm sure everyone knows a man who is better at homework than a woman, or a woman who provides more money to the household than the man, or vice versa. Also, in gay households, are the chores and childcare more evenly distributed? Are there still imbalances? I would like to see more research on this.

Personally, I believe some people are trained well from an early age to clean up with attention to detail, while others are not. Then they marry each other and make each other crazy lol.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Proof that science can be biased.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

I can say that I agree quite a bit with this. I do the large majority of the household chores, but I do miss things like some crumbs or perhaps an item on the floor in the kitchen. Of course, my wife lambasts me over it… which in turn aggravates me to no end because I feel like she’s completely ignoring the dozens of other things I have already cleaned or arranged. I do make an effort, but seriously, it’s like there is a hole in my vision or something.

I did make the mistake of asking her not to complain because she doesn’t do as much of the housework… and boy, did I suffer for half a year due to that.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

girl_in_tokyoToday  10:09 am JST

Algernon LaCroixToday 09:26 am JST

This is the kind of "science" that makes a mockery of peer review. Women notice these small details because they have evolved to keep a clean home to protect their children, while men have evolved with longer vision to spot and hunt dinner. 

That is not how evolution works. 

There are exceptions of course, but it's the norm. To my wife, a crumb on the floor may as well be a beachball but was barely aware of the hills behind our building, whereas I can happily look straight past the pile of stuff on my desk and easily identify the type of plane taking off a couple of km away.

Let's not even make this gendered. People have a choice. They can train themselves to notice when something needs cleaned up, or they can be lazy and ignore it, and let their partner/roommate/spouse/child do all the work. One of these acts is childish and selfish, the other is what a mature adult would do. 

Your far-left politics distort your view of reality. Of course people can train themselves to do a lot of things and make certain choices. But there are instinctive tendencies in women and men to notice and do different things because that's how they have evolved as a survival mechanism and ensure their genes are passed along to the next generation. Take a large enough sample size that covers different cultures around the world and the trend will be clear.

We can tell what kind of person someone is by the choice they make.

Without a doubt. Some make good choices. Others embrace demonstrably disastrous ideologies that completely ignore human nature and try to force them on others because they think they know better.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Just designating that women do more of the housework than men lacks context. What is more relevant is who is the one who is working full-time and who is stay-at-home. I'm sure a higher percentage of men are the ones working full-time and the women are stay-at-home so the women are more designated to do the housework.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

CrashTestDummyToday  12:12 pm JST

Just designating that women do more of the housework than men lacks context. What is more relevant is who is the one who is working full-time and who is stay-at-home. I'm sure a higher percentage of men are the ones working full-time and the women are stay-at-home so the women are more designated to do the housework.

Indeed.

I work from home and my wife is a stay-at-home mum. She does a larger share of the housework and is very good at it, while I help out with things like hanging the washing, dishes, occasional cooking, baby feeding & changing, some cleaning, etc. Fact is though, she just notices a lot more in the house than I do, and among a large number of my family members and friends, the same is true - there are exceptions of course, but the trend is clear.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Algernon LaCroixToday

Your far-left politics distort your view of reality.

You have no idea what my view on politics are. I've never said.

Of course people can train themselves to do a lot of things and make certain choices. But there are instinctive tendencies in women and men to notice and do different things because that's how they have evolved as a survival mechanism and ensure their genes are passed along to the next generation.

Again, this is not how evolution works. It's a continuous, incremental process over millions of years, which means that even now societies are developing and evolving. Thus, what mattered to us a thousand or a hundred or even 15 years ago has changed.

Take a large enough sample size that covers different cultures around the world and the trend will be clear.

No. What anthropology show is that in the past, societies were isolated, thus evolvied different views, dependent upon factors in that society's evolution. In some societies women were seen as being more proficient than men in some ways, while in others men were seen as more proficient. Trends came about when the boundaries between societies began to erode, so that they influenced one another. That includes up to today, as views of gender roles have become more and more egalitarian.

What we have learned is that gender is not a dichotomy, but a cline - which means that some women show traits that in the past were considered in the male domain, and men show traits that in the past were considered in the female domain.

In other words, gender roles and stereotypes are breaking down. People are people. We need to accept everyone as the individuals that they are.

Without a doubt. Some make good choices. Others embrace demonstrably disastrous ideologies that completely ignore human nature and try to force them on others because they think they know better

Frankly I don't care if your household has decided that the kitchen and children are the woman's domain. That's your individualism. What I do ask, however, is that you don't declare this choice as one that all women have to follow and contend that if they don't they are somehow weird or abnormal or brainwashed. That is just nonsense.

Let people be individuals, because if you try to interfere then those individuals will have no choice but to push back. As I am doing here, now.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

CrashTestDummyToday 12:12 pm JST

Just designating that women do more of the housework than men lacks context. What is more relevant is who is the one who is working full-time and who is stay-at-home. I'm sure a higher percentage of men are the ones working full-time and the women are stay-at-home so the women are more designated to do the housework.

In Japan, yes. In the US and other western countries, however, the vast majority of women work. And this study, performed in that context, shows that men do less housework than women.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

NAMToday 11:28 am JST

Also, in gay households, are the chores and childcare more evenly distributed? Are there still imbalances? I would like to see more research on this.

There has been some research on this. It shows that your next contention:

Personally, I believe some people are trained well from an early age to clean up with attention to detail, while others are not. Then they marry each other and make each other crazy lol.

is fairly accurate. One thing that skews the stats towards the conclusion of this article is that quite often it is the male children who did not grow up being taught to notice when something needs cleaning and weren't given these kinds of chores to do. Thus the gender imbalance. On the other hand, personality also plays a role. Some people are just cleaner and some messier. But everyone, no matter their gender, can learn to be better and not put the entire burden onto their partner.

Interestingly, among my LGBTQIA friends who are married or living with a long-term partner, it's very mixed. One gay couple I know are both fastidious to the point where they both iron their own underwear, LOL. While another gay couple I know, one of them continually picks up after the other, while a lesbian couple I know are well matched and juggle household chores and child care equally. They each even took turns to have a baby.

I personally have come to think that gender has much less to do with this than how someone is raised and how they personally feel about cleanliness. But lingering gender stereotypes about who "should" clean and who "should" stay home, or who "should" work are just sexist.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Gender imbalance in shouldering domestic work is explained by different ways in which men and women perceive chores, philosophers at Britain's Cambridge University suggest.

British philosophers are pushing for men to do more housework.

I see their study was just based on US households.

Come to Japan, and they will understand why there is no gender imbalance when it comes to domestic work.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

believe it to be more equally shared than it is.

 I do the large majority of the household chores, but I do miss things like some crumbs or perhaps an item on the floor in the kitchen. Of course, my wife lambasts me over it…

You do, or you believe you do?

I did make the mistake of asking her not to complain because she doesn’t do as much of the housework

Oh dear. Reading between the lines, I get the feeling your wife does not share your 'belief'.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Come to Japan, and they will understand why there is no gender imbalance when it comes to domestic work.

What makes you think this claim is true? The reports on the subject explicitly contradicts this belief.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/ijjs.12137

Japanese women undertake a disproportionately large share of domestic labor

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/1348-9585.12339

the percentage of women who perceived that they spent more time on housework and childcare was significantly greater than that of men after adjusting for work-related factors

There is no objective reason for this gender imbalance to exist, so there is no problem in taking measures to identify it as the first step in correcting it.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

What makes you think this claim is true?

There is no claim. Just a fact. Known by us living in Japan.

The reports on the subject explicitly contradicts this belief.

Your "reports" actually substantiate the fact I noted.

Why do you try and use evidence that contradicts your claim, and supports my statement?

There is no objective reason for this gender imbalance to exist, so there is no problem in taking measures to identify it as the first step in correcting it.

In Japan, there is no gender imbalance when it comes to domestic work, as your reports prove.

How come you argue against yourself?

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

painkiller

so you are doing a fair share of housework? Do your spouse agree?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

painkillerToday 02:18 pm JST

There is no claim. Just a fact. Known by us living in Japan.

I hate to have to point this out, but if you say "this is a fact" you are making a claim.

Your "reports" actually substantiate the fact I noted.

Why do you try and use evidence that contradicts your claim, and supports my statement?

Did you even read those studies? The first one says there remains a large gender gap between male and female household labor, and that the decrease noted during the pandemic for female labor seems to point to more women using online shopping and other "domestic outsourcing."

The second one concluded that, even when considering work-related factors (hours worked, telecommuting) "the percentage of women who perceived that they spent more time on housework and childcare was significantly greater than that of men."

In Japan, there is no gender imbalance when it comes to domestic work, as your reports prove.

How come you argue against yourself?

Clearly, there is a very large gender imbalance when it comes to domestic labor in Japan.

You very often request people give you studies to prove their arguments. I always tell you to look it up yourself since I know you won't even read them - and this shows I was right not to waste my time. You didn't look at these at all, nor did you bother to do any of your own research to support your claim.

Also, while claiming that these studies support your view, you also put the word "report" in quotes as if studies like these are not to be believed. So we are left to think that you hold these studies in contempt while at the same time bragging that they support your view.

How can you expect that anyone take you at all seriously, when you don't show even a basic understanding of how claims and evidence work?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

You do, or you believe you do?

I do… I usually do all of the laundry (washing and folding). Try to get in 2 or 3 loads after work and maybe more on the weekend. I do ask her to take her clothes upstairs, but she refuses. My oldest son does take his clothes upstairs after protesting. The baby really can’t do much.

Dishes, I’d say I’m doing them 90% of the time… I’ve got the cracked fingers from doing laundry and dishes despite moisturizing throughout the day. Becomes almost unbearable during the dry winter months… I’ve been doubling up on humidifiers in my office to help but this year is bad.

She doesn’t vacuum because she says the Dyson is too heavy, so that’s on me. As with the cleaning, she just refuses. I clean, but my children destroy within seconds of coming home… I do the rubbish, as well… sorting, organizing, compressing, picking up after, and putting out.

She used to cook a lot more often, but lately she goes out with her friends most nights or attends to concerts… So, I’ve been doing more of the cooking recently as she’s not home for dinner. When the weekend hits, I usually do the cooking and then we go to her mother’s house for dinner on Sundays.

I’m usually the one washing, moisturizing, dressing, and putting the children to bed. Same goes for waking them (and her) up in the morning for nursery/school/work. I try to get my wife involved, but she’ll mostly just lay on the couch playing on her phone while ignoring me.

After getting them all to bed, I’m still at it doing chores downstairs until around 1am… then I can unwind a little bit… hopefully sleep before 2am, and then restart the day around 5:30am. …I’m going to die young

But yes, I do the large majority of the housework… my wife even begrudgingly admits it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

But yes, I do the large majority of the housework… my wife even begrudgingly admits it.

Gosh! How you find time to type?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Some of the comments are making me smh; a) this so called study implies that something’s wrong/needs to change (that’s problem number one); b) problem number two: people actually buy this bs; c) the difference between past generations and our generation is communication; today, couples make their own rules and they don’t care about what society says.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Gosh! How you find time to type?

It’s a slow day at work and hardly anyone is in. :)

But, I’m not trying to slag off my wife… She does the majority of the driving and coordinates most of the medical requirements for the children.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

There is no claim. Just a fact. Known by us living in Japan.

Your claim (because you are claiming something) has been proved false by the references, making an empty appeal to your residence does absolutely nothing to refute the evidence presented in the articles that prove the disparity is present in Japan very importantly.

Your "reports" actually substantiate the fact I noted.

Why do you try and use evidence that contradicts your claim, and supports my statement?

They substantiate explicitly the opposite of what you claim, you don't even make an effort to disprove the quotes that clearly say your personal opinion is wrong.

In Japan, there is no gender imbalance when it comes to domestic work, as your reports prove.

They prove the opposite, they even say so in the title, pretending not to understand this very simple thing is not an argument against them, it just makes obvious you now understand you were wrong and have no argument against the evidence provided.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I do more than my share. Cooking, cleaning, dishes, sewing, heavy load stuff, garden, yard, garbage. Help with the heavy shopping. Spouse does all the laundry and bill paying. Cooks breakfast and sometimes lunch.

I think I am not the norm for this.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I do less but achieve more than women when it comes to chores. Women a way better at homemaking than cleaning. Take my wife v me when it comes to cleaning the bathroom. I take 5 min compared to her 45 to 50. I used a pressure cleaner she uses hand sprays a abrazers. Take doing the washing. She separated the washing were I use one load compared to her 3 or 4. She vac the house. Brought a robo vac/mop. Etc man are way better at getting it done, women have utterly useless nuance when doing chores like ironing cloths and certain ways chores must be done.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

John-SanToday 06:26 pm JST

I do less but achieve more than women when it comes to chores. Women a way better at homemaking than cleaning. Take my wife v me when it comes to cleaning the bathroom. I take 5 min compared to her 45 to 50. I used a pressure cleaner she uses hand sprays a abrazers. Take doing the washing. She separated the washing were I use one load compared to her 3 or 4. She vac the house. Brought a robo vac/mop. Etc man are way better at getting it done, women have utterly useless nuance when doing chores like ironing cloths and certain ways chores must be done

Interesting. Because I can clean the bedroom, dining room, living room, bathroom and kitchen, including straightening, disenfecting, sweeping, mopping, and dusting, in the time it takes my bf to clean the TV room, and he doesn't even bother vacuuming or dusting.

Huh, how can that be... it doesn't make sense that my experience is the exact opposite of yours!

Oh wait, wow ... maybe this is because people are individuals, and each of us is not representative of our gender?

Could be!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Don't make it a competition. If you do it quicker than your spouse, good. Then go and help them finish too.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I don’t do any housework except for cooking, usually curries, and that’s the way we like it. Mind you I’m the sole bread winner in the household.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

No just common sense. I hang my on coat hangers and inside never outside. Why ? Pegging cloths make some garments out of shape over time. UV deteriorates colour and materials. Always stack you washed towels at the bottom, never on top. This keep them in washing order plus all fade the same. Make your partner sleep closest to the door so when an intruder appears he goes for her or him first allowing the strongest of the two to attack the intruder while the closest to the door. Not use disherwasher use deposable plates etc. used foil trays when roasting. All common sense stuff but getting your partner try the more efficient ways.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Men urged to train themselves to notice household chores: study

I highly agree. I've had to learn to do this myself in order help out my wife as well as appreciate the work she puts in in the home/with the kids.

But I'll add that the mountain of criticism of men these days is a massive turn off, though some is justified. Both sexes have things to learn.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

A.msn that cannot prepare a meal is doomed,their are men's that left home to fend for themselves,the wife have to leave instructions on how to microwave a meal

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Lol, my wife does a superb job of noticing them for me :/

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Both sexes have things to learn.

The only thing a man has to learn is that your wife is always in every case right. Simple.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Desert Tortoise

Thos who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones and also should never blame anything on peoples forefathers.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Most of us are busy people, everyone has their own priorities, and some stuff will just not make it to the top of the 'to do' list. Some will see a job that they believe needs doing now. Others will not even see it as a job worth doing. Some of my neighbours have well maintained gardens, some have gardens that look like waste tips. People are different. If you think that all men are slovenly and all women are tidy, you need to get out more.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

GBR48

double plus good comments there bruv

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

According to the study, when a woman enters a kitchen, she might see dishes as something that needs to get done.

I walk into the kitchen and see dishes in the sink, all I see is an unfinished collection, to keep adding to till I run out of spoons and dishes. Usually about five days later :-D

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Garthgoyle

Quality comments, blokes brains work in a different way, scientifically proven.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Thos who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones and also should never blame anything on peoples forefathers.

I don't have a drop of anglo blood in me. My grandparents suffered from anglo bigotry.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Quality comments, blokes brains work in a different way, scientifically proven.

Men have two heads talking so the opportunities for confusion and mistakes abound O_O

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@girl_in_tokyo

In Japan, yes. In the US and other western countries, however, the vast majority of women work. And this study, performed in that context, shows that men do less housework than women.

That is not true. For stay-at-home parents in the US, 17% are men 83% are women. So, vast majority of women are the stay-at-home parent which are designated to do more housework. The study infers that it is couples that they are taking the data from. I live in the US.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Without trying to sound like a super husband... for the last few years, and we've been married for 37, I've slowly been trying to do more to help ease the housework burden on my wife. She started working full time about 5 years ago... since then I started doing more. I work, but it is in the late evenings and from home, so it isn't that big of a deal. When she gets home from work, the house is spotless. She likes to prepare her own dinner sometimes, when she's done, I clean up. In addition I always sit down with her to talk about her / our day and life for about an hour on a daily basis. Sometimes marriage isn't work, sometimes it just comes natural, but I've got to think those "natural" type of even keel relationships are very rare mainly because the roles early on are quite different and defined. The hard part is after the kids leave and the roles reverse or change drastically. That is when we need to think about what is important. For me it is about being equal partners, a team with my wife to work our way towards a happy, healthy and loving relationship that includes keeping our kids and grandkids independent buy close.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I bet it was man who made life way better for us all by inventing the quilt / doona cover with the opening in the centre. Brilliant and functional. As for aesthetic, not good but as I told homemaker. The bedroom is not the centre of home fashion but if you insist, you make the bed. I will do the dish washing. Then the homemaker will complain that I only do it once a month due to me insisting we use deposable kitchenwares. The homemaker complained that I never help with surface cleaning like vac and mopping I purchase a RoBo vac/mop and I will help with the dusting if the homemaker helps with chopping wood, stacking it and maintaining the firebox and making sure the home is never cold period but declined due to how arduous and dangerous it was. I never won in the kitchen and bathroom were I wanted it made of industrial stain steel for quick and easy pressure cleaning. So the homemaker agree to manage these area for the trade off for a un functional aesthetic please kitchen and bathroom.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Wonder when we will see an article, about what women need to do to improve themselves for the family? Is it just men that are cos dieted not pulling their weight or being considerate?

No doubt all women are hard working angels with high morals, I mean whose ever known about a woman who doesn’t keep the house spotless?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

I swear, every time an article mentions the existence of gender inequities, swathes of men come out the woodwork to complain at the mere suggestion that perhaps things should be done differently. You see it here, too, with those comments about how the study is "biased", lol.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The comment section here is …. Well …. Odd…. The article is generally about men needing to do their fair share . But somehow that’s veered off into some beastly and ghastly statements about “bread winners “ admissions of just blatant sexism…. I really don’t think there should be any non binary “men” with no children telling the rest of us how a woman’s job is to keep the house spotless…. Keeping childrens schedules in order …. Regardless if she also works full time or not…. Welcome to 2022 pansies …. This must mostly be a UK issue ….

1 ( +3 / -2 )

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