Women’s Housework and Quadratic Associations: An End to Gender Deviance Neutralization?
Jennifer L. Hook, University of Southern California
The micro-level mechanisms explaining variation in women's housework time are contested. The heavily-cited finding that women who out earn their partners compensate for gender deviance by over performing housework had been largely discarded, but new findings have revived this perspective. I weigh in on this debate with two innovations (1) by exploiting variation by day of the week I generate new hypotheses to test leading explanations of women's housework time, (2) I use the largest sample to date (American Time Use Survey 2003-2012) with splines to study the contested upper tail of the distribution. There is no evidence of gender deviance neutralization. Women’s absolute income, to a point, reduces women’s housework. Results by day of the week best support a time constraint approach. The real question is not why “gender deviant” women do more housework, but why women’s earnings and employment hours only move the needle on housework so far.
Presented in Session 30: New Research on Gender and Housework