Friday, April 04, 2008

Math problem 

So, any of the male people out there want to comment on this factoid?

Having a husband creates an extra seven hours of housework each week for women, according to a new study. For men, tying the knot saves an hour of weekly chores.

If marriage relieves a man of one hour of chores per week and adds seven hours to the woman's burden, what conclusion does Occam's Razor demand? Obviously, men are seven times more productive at household chores than women.

Those of you who see flaws in my reasoning should discuss in the comments.


By Blogger Who Struck John, at Fri Apr 04, 09:59:00 PM:

No; I think it implies that women are more particular about the condition of their abode and are willing to spend six hours more per week to keep the abode up to their standards.

Anyone who has seen the typical abode of a man in his 20s can easily recognize this.  

By Blogger Joanne, at Fri Apr 04, 10:42:00 PM:

It means men will only do an hour of chores a week, and then they have had enough. A woman will have to put in seven more hours of work when a man is about the house just to get the house to a standard that is livable.

who struck john - is absolutely correct.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Apr 04, 11:01:00 PM:

When I'm away with the Army, the house becomes a wreck. When I return, it is cleaned up. (and I do most of the cleaning, at first)

Be careful with generalizations. Joanne.  

By Blogger Larry Sheldon, at Fri Apr 04, 11:02:00 PM:

I think this is supposed to be a funny piece based on unfounded stereotypes, and frankly, it still is not funny.

My wife and I have both earned our keep.  

By Blogger randian, at Fri Apr 04, 11:13:00 PM:

It may imply that somebody is lying or mistaken about the actual time taken on household chores. After all, it doesn't take longer to vacuum a carpet or clean a toilet just because two people are living under the same roof. I'd also want to see what they define as "household chores". I've seen many such studies omit stereotypically masculine chores, like home repair, lawn and garden work, or car maintenance, from their definition of "household chores". It's usually not the wife I see out shoveling snow in 20 degree weather.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Apr 04, 11:15:00 PM:

too many variables! my wife has a house keeper come twice a week and the kids have after school care till 6 every day. But when I come home from my 9 hour day I make dinner and put the kids to bed. My wife doesn't work...so if she spends 3 hours a day doing house work, and i spend "only" 2 hours with the kids and cooking and serving dinner, and 9 hours a work, how exactly do we report that out? 3 hours fro her and 2 for me?  

By Blogger randian, at Fri Apr 04, 11:27:00 PM:

"if she spends 3 hours a day doing house work, and i spend "only" 2 hours with the kids and cooking and serving dinner, and 9 hours a work, how exactly do we report that out? 3 hours for her and 2 for me?"

Often, yes. The error you identify is common in studies trying to prove how put upon women are in marriage.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Fri Apr 04, 11:28:00 PM:

Apparently, my fun with statistics touched a nerve!

Anyway, assuming the study was reasonably designed it is fun to speculate on the net increase of six hours per week on marriage. My guess is that the wife (on average) cannot tolerate the standards of her erstwhile bachelor; she starts picking up after him, doing work that essentially went undone when he was on his own. So then the question is whether there is anything unfair about this in the end. After all, she could have cut her workload considerably if she were willing to lower her standards to his, rather than raise his standards to hers. (Not talking about Dawnfire's house here, of course.)  

By Blogger Sara (Pal2Pal), at Fri Apr 04, 11:34:00 PM:

It means that as soon as a man has a woman around to pick up after him, feed him, clothe him and do his laundry, etc., he reverts to an adolescent state. It might be a stereotype and, of course, there are neat freak guys as the exception to prove the rule, but experience says that even all but the most severely neato compulsives will revert to type if they think they can get away with it. And, unfortunately, most women will let them get away with it.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Apr 04, 11:47:00 PM:

So, in short, women are stupid, men are smart.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Apr 05, 12:18:00 AM:

the stereotypes run rampant! My wife doesn't do but maybe 5% of the laundy-the housekeeper does it all. And i cook, so....maybe at some peoples' homes it is the men who are being "taken advantage of". I earn 100% of the family income, do 80% of all the cooking , and yet i am judged excusively by my contribution to keeping the house neat in comparison to the time my wife spends.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Apr 05, 02:11:00 AM:

Personal example. When my wife and I were married we traded separate apartments for a house. She got more housework, my laudry and a bigger house, and I got the yard and exterior maintenance. It's called specialization. She's more efficient at housework and I'm more efficient at yard-work and maintenance. Basic Econ 101 as I see it.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Apr 05, 03:35:00 AM:

I believe that no man has ever purchased a bottle of Woolite.

Deep thought, that.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Apr 05, 06:47:00 AM:

Hey TH,

Lock your wife and your spaniels in the trunk of your car. Come back in two hours and open it. Which will be happy to see you?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Apr 05, 08:22:00 AM:

Very thought provoking, and definitely touched a nerve. My man likes to cook but the mess he leaves is what gets to me. The range top has goo from spills, countertop is cleaned but the crumbs are on the floor, can wash the towels but they sour because he forgets to put them in the dryer and now need to be rewashed. I wouldn't trade him for anything. When there is lawn to be mowed, I willingly do more in the house. It works for us. Please don't think I am whining because I am not. We just sort of specialize at what we do best.  

By Blogger Georg Felis, at Sat Apr 05, 09:19:00 AM:

Hm. If they did not count yardwork as housework, and ignored the fact that children take more work, that would neatly account for the disparity in our household. I wonder if they left it out just to make the survey a little more spicy? Wouldn't be the first time.

Which reminds me, gotta go spade under the garden...  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Apr 05, 10:30:00 AM:

Not sure "productive" is the right word; "efficient" may be a better reason for most of the variance.
Take loading and unloading the dishwasher. Women (actually, I have only a sample size of "one") do these tasks as they drive and push a shopping cart, without regard to what will/may happen in the next time period.
My wife seems to load the dishwasher in a "next dish goes to the available space" order and disregards the "like with like" that will make unloading so much quicker.
Laundry is another area. I dump every thing in one load with one half gizmo of soap and leave it alone. My wife tweaks the stuff, some gets turned inside out, some goes in net bags, there are soaps, softners, powdered bleaches etc. to be added at various points.
I assume that she is as inefficient at other household tasks. I seldom notice or comment on such things because her response would be, "if you don't like the way I do it, feel free to do it yourself."  

By Blogger Donna B., at Sat Apr 05, 01:32:00 PM:

In light of such productivity, men should obviously be doing all the housework.  

By Blogger Cas, at Sat Apr 05, 06:23:00 PM:

"...because her response would be, "if you don't like the way I do it, feel free to do it yourself."
My wife an I have been married for 22 years (last month) and we moved our youngest daughter out of the house 2 months ago. We have both dealt with the statement above, and how it normally works out in the long run...our biggest problem is that we still live in a four-bedroom house on a 1/4-1/3 acre; so some tasks are a given.
But it seems that I (as the man) end up doing MOST, if not all of the outside tasks, of course with my wife's supervision. AND I always do the dishes, as well as half (or more) of the cooking...but she is the better cook. I ALSO end up doing most (if not all) of the laundry (goes back to military days, when my uniforms HAD to be ready)
Basically, she has talked me into doing most of these household chores, because if I ever complained, I heard that statement quoted above..."do it yourself then!"  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Apr 06, 01:02:00 PM:

Or is it just the wages that women pay to have a stable domicile in which to raise their "eggs," while a man's biological interest in projecting his seeds into future generations are diminished greatly by monogamy?  

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