Gender-Specific Differences in Time Use of Girls and Boys Regarding Domestic Work

Wednesday, 18 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Heike WIRTH, GESIS, Germany
Depending on their area of life, adults show gender-specific differences in their use of time. Although the time spent by women on domestic work has declined over recent decades and the amount of time spent by men on domestic work has increased slightly, there appears to have been little change in the gender-specific division of labor. The continuing gender-specific division of work is seen as the result of negotiation and specialization processes between the partners, particularly in the context of family formation. Differences in the economic and non-economic resources of men and women are assumed as underlying mechanisms which come along with better or less favorable negotiating positions. Other mechanisms are the influence of social norms on gender roles and gender identities.

The focus of this study is on gender differences in children (10 to 17 years) regarding time spent with domestic work. In contrast to adults, economic and non-economic resources, as well as negotiation processes (e.g. between parents and children), should have no impact on gender-specific differences in time use of children and adolescents. However one could assume that the division of labor between father and mother or the time parents spend with domestic work, and also negotiation processes between siblings might influence the time spent by boys and girls with domestic work.

Based on the German time use study 2012/13 our findings up to now are: (1) Girls spend more time with housework than boys. This gender-specific difference increases in the transition from childhood to youth. (2) It is not so much the time constraints of the parents as a result of gainful employment, which influence the children's working hours. Rather, parents' involvement in the household seems to be closely related to the children's contribution. (4) The household context seems to have different effects for boys and girls.