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The consequences of maternal employment during men's childhood for their adult housework performance

Publication Abstract

Gupta, Sanjiv. 2006. "The consequences of maternal employment during men's childhood for their adult housework performance." Gender and Society, 20(1): 60-86.

Using data from the first two waves of the National Survey of Families and Households, the author finds that married and cohabiting men exposed to maternal employment during childhood spent more time on housework as adults than did other men. BY contrast, there is no such association for single men. These findings show that men's housework performance is affected by both their childhood socialization and their adult circumstances, that is, whether they live with women. Furthermore, the positive relationship between maternal employment and adult housework for partnered men is restricted to men who grew up with their fathers present. Taken together, these results demonstrate that men's adult housework performance is influenced by a combination of factors, namely, maternal employment, father presence, and marital status, rather than any one of them in isolation. The study suggests that we need both the socialization and the situational, or interactionist, perspectives to understand men's adult family behavior.

DOI:10.1177/0891243205282554 (Full Text)

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