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The Heart Beat The Heart Beat blog

Study: Men Happiest Doing Housework

Now we know why Mr. Clean was always smiling.

By Kristin Wong Jun 29, 2012 2:39PM

Photo: Andrew Olney/Getty ImagesGood news for couples; you now have one less thing to argue about, according to information from the University of Cambridge.

While the issue of housework can sometimes be distressing for women, as it turns out, we should just leave those dishes in the sink and keep the floor unmopped, because apparently, men love doing chores.

In a paper discussing gender's "incomplete revolution," the University references results from a Brussels-funded European study. That study, which included 30,000 people in 34 different countries, found that men "are actually happier when they make an equal contribution to household chores." An introduction to that study reads:
"Contrary to expectations, they found that men, not women, benefited from a less traditional gender role divide in household chores."
Even the researchers were surprised. The University of Cambridge's press release states: 
"The academics expected to find that men's work-family conflict rose, and their well-being fell, when they did more housework. In practice, they found the opposite, with conflict falling, and well-being going up."

Participants were asked questions about how much they contributed to various chores, and then they were asked whether they felt "fulfilled" in life and if they woke up feeling refreshed. They were also asked to measure their levels of "work-life conflict."

So what's the explanation? Because personally, I'm pretty sure I would hate doing the dishes even if I were a man. Jacqueline Scott, a Sociology professor at the University of Cambridge, says the results might have to do with men's guilt.

“[The results] suggest that men may be uncomfortably conscious of work getting in the way of their doing a fair share of chores at home, whereas women have long been used to doing a ‘double shift'."

According to researchers, men are actually uncomfortable when they're not able to contribute equally to housework. They say men are more supportive of gender equality than they have been in the past.

Women may still be fighting for equal rights in the workplace, but hey, at least the gender gap on chores is closing.
Photo: Andrew Olney/Getty Images

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