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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.

More on MSN Living: 10 foolproof ways to get in the mood

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.

More on MSN Living: The real reasons men shut down

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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223Comments
Dec 5, 2012 6:32PM
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I am the boss in my relationship and I have my wife's permission to say that!
Dec 5, 2012 6:31PM
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Me - BUT - I would love to share in the decision making on all levels - he just doesn't seem interested. I have tried discussing finances with him only to be met with a blank stare and/or impatience. Often, I feel that this is a burden - having to do it all myself sometimes I ask - " and WHY do we keep him around!?" Except the TV thing - the KIDS decide what we watch - hubby and I - for the most part - couldn't care less; unless they want to watch someting inaapropriate or offensive.
Dec 5, 2012 6:30PM
Dec 5, 2012 6:30PM
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Good, I don't want to decide which washer/dryer set to buy.  I'm not going to be the one that will be using it anyway!  Oh and by the way, I can give up what's on the television as long as there is no football games on.
Dec 5, 2012 6:27PM
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Its not biblical. this is the reason of the downfall of society.
Dec 5, 2012 6:27PM
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I did it all for tha nookie...............

Dec 5, 2012 6:24PM
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I'm never going to let a woman control any facet of my personal life again.  Y'all are awful.  God has a wonderful sense of humor when it comes to 'companions'
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