More on the Gendered Division of Household Labor: A Response to Commentators

Lachance-Grzela, Mylène; Bouchard, Geneviève
December 2010
Sex Roles;Dec2010, Vol. 63 Issue 11-12, p801
Academic Journal
This article is a response to the commentaries made regarding our original article (), which reviewed the state of research on the division of household labor and summarized the main theoretical perspectives used to explain why women continue to complete the larger share of household tasks. In the following pages, we underline how the commentators were helpful in identifying some limitations of the current research on the allocation of household labor and in suggesting relevant paths for future studies. We discuss points on which the commentators agree, such as the need to achieve a better understanding of all forms of inequalities, and points on which they disagree, such as the way researchers should proceed when studying the impact of national context. We also reply to each individual commentary. In response to Coltrane (), we discuss the causal loops that exist between gender inequalities in the private and public spheres. We agree with Davis () who proposed that studying the question from other angles could help understand why household labor continues to be divided along gendered lines. We add to Claffey and Manning's discussion () of the paradox which stems from the fact that couples often perceive an objectively unequal division of household labor as fair to both partners. In conclusion, we take the opportunity to address additional issues related to the division of household labor. For instance, from a clinical psychology standpoint, we discuss how couples who strive to achieve a more egalitarian division of household labor do so.


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