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Women call the shots, study finds

In most couples, women are the decision-makers.

By Kristin Wong Dec 5, 2012 4:55PM

James Brown told us that it's a man's world, but this study might beg to differ. According to the Pew Research Center, it's women who have the final say on many household decisions.

Photo: Stefanie Sudek-Mensch/Getty ImagesThe organization interviewed over 1,000 adults who were married or living with a partner and asked them who was in charge of making the decisions in four areas of domestic life. For a whopping 43 percent of couples, women are calling the shots. Men make the decisions in only 26 percent of relationships, the study found, while 31 percent of couples say they divide the decisions equally.

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So what are the four areas in which women are wearing the pants?

Weekend plans

For 46 percent of couples, weekend plans are made together. But for those couples in which one partner primarily has control, it's the woman calling the shots. Twenty-eight percent of couples said that the woman decides what to do on weekends, while only 16 percent of couples put the man in charge of those activities.

Major household purchases

Again, nearly half of couples have equal control over the decisions in this area. But in those couples with one person in control, that person is the woman. In 30 percent of couples surveyed, the woman decides on big purchases for the home. That number was 19 percent for men.

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Managing the finances

The study found that women are more likely than men to manage the household finances (38 percent vs. 30 percent). Interestingly, couples are more likely to share decision making about weekend plans than the household budget. Only 28 percent of couples manage the finances together.

Television viewing

And finally, who controls the remote? This is the one area that was the most evenly split, with women deciding what to watch in 27 percent of relationships and men controlling the remote in 26 percent.

Overall, more women (15 percent) than men (9 percent) take the lead in making decisions in three or more of these areas.

What do you think—who calls the shots in your relationship?

Bing: 2012 divorce rate?
Photo: Stefanie Sudek-Mensch/Getty Images

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Dec 5, 2012 11:09PM

This is an interesting finding.... after reading many comments what I find sad is how the genders seem to fight back and forth insulting each other instead of being a couple and embracing each others strengths and differences. 


I'm a single man but this is how I see men and women and how it should be in a relationship..  Example... I'll be the first to admit I'm horrible with directions when driving... thankfully the GPS was made for me. lol.  Now... If I was with a woman and she was great at directions I would be happy and if she knew how to get someplace on the map then she could give me directions while driving if she wanted to and I would be FINE with that and probably think it was sexy lol.  I'm also not the best at travel plans so she could take charge of that too.  Why would I feel insulted or my manhood threatened by that as many men seem to be, I don't understand that. 


On the other hand, I'm great at balancing a budget as well and home design and things that need to be fixed or get done. Long story short.... couples need to ADMIRE each other and compliment each others differences instead of feeling that need to make an excuse or be rude to the other person just because one person has more of a skill at one thing then that other has. Two brains are often better then one so men compliment your lady and women, compliment your man.  It would make for lot less fighting and divorces I think... 

Dec 5, 2012 11:04PM

My husband would say that I call the shots.  And in many ways I think he's right.  I guess that's why we're so happy together!  I handle the finances and probably do make most plans for the weekends.  On the other hand, he's happy he doesn't have to handle the bills!  I also decide on presents for the kids and grandkids.  I'm really making his life easier and he's happy to let me!  Of course, after 34 years of marriage, we've managed to work out most of the kinks and life is good! 

Dec 5, 2012 10:57PM

YOU'RE LATE!!! This information plus named "The Amadidious" is already a Video and ebook found in all major ebook retail stores.

Dec 5, 2012 10:55PM
And yes, I do love you men, but you just need to know your place....:)
Dec 5, 2012 10:55PM
Really charming men, this stuff always brings out the women-hating sexists...ugh....Women are smarter and stronger emotionally, so why would women not be in charge? I think equality is good in ANY relationship: straight, gay or otherwise. However, women are it...period..Men think differently, which can be good at times, however women get the totality of things better...Men have caused war, greed, abuse, rape and violence in this world. I think women need to be in charge of EVERYTHING, but let's take baby steps..shall we? Men freak so easily when they feel power is shifting...
Dec 5, 2012 10:54PM

If women are the ones making most of the financial decisions, then no wonder this country is a nation full of families bankrupted by credit card debt.


I have yet to meet a woman that is capable of establishing a budget and then sticking to it....because there's always "another pair of cute shoes."

Dec 5, 2012 10:52PM
YOU'RE LATE!!! This information plus is already a Video and ebook found in all major ebook retail stores.

Dec 5, 2012 10:52PM
Because most American men have sold out -

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