Men now do more cleaning around the house, a UBC study has found. (Pixnio)

As more women head to work, men step up around the house: B.C. study

Men now do 40% of the cooking, researchers say

An increase in women working outside the home has led to men picking up a greater share of household work, according to UBC researchers.

According to research published earlier this month, men’s share of housework increased between 1986 and 2015 while women’s decreased.

However, women still do the lion’s share of domestic work, researchers found.

The study used data from six surveys between 1986 and 2015. More than 5,000 people from across Canada submitted their daily activities over a 24-hour period to researchers.

The study found that women spent 65 less minutes on housework in 2015 compared to 1986. Over the same 30 years, the amount of time men spent on housework rose by 40 minutes.

In 1986, 33 per cent of men said they did no housework, compared to 16 per cent in 2015. Men also now do 40 per cent of the cooking, an increase of 23 minutes daily since 1986.

Researchers say they were surprised to see that not only were men spending more time doing work around the house, but more time on traditionally feminine work like cleaning.

“When we went into this, we expected that men might have increased their time in cooking, but less so with respect to cleaning and the daily chores of housework that have traditionally been defined as ‘women’s work,’” said co-author Rima Wilkes, a professor of sociology at UBC.

“But we found that men are doing more of this traditional work around the house. It’s not all just barbecuing and maintenance, or cooking the occasional meal. We saw change across the board for men in all kinds of household tasks.”

Childcare was one task that both parents now spent more time on, despite both working.

Despite a drop in average family size, women spent two hours on childcare a day, up from an hour and a half in 1986. Men spend 72 minutes, up from 35 in 1986.

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katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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