The Division of Housework and Re-Partnering in Europe: Does Re-Partnering Lead to a More Equal Division of Domestic Tasks?

Mariona Lozano , CED, Centre for Demographic Studies
Joan Garcia Roman, Centre d’Estudis Demogràfics (CED), Universitat de Barcelona

This study analyses traditional and non-traditional arrangements of housework among men and women in dual-earner couples according to their union rank, i.e., first union or re-partnerships. It aims to understand whether those in re-partnered couples are more likely to equally divide housework. Past evidence showed that unequal sharing of housework is associated with marital conflict and it lowers relationship satisfaction, which may lead to divorce. However, housework divisions among re-partnered individuals has been less studied. The main hypothesis of this paper claims that they may be more likely to equally share housework than those in their first union. The underlying assumption is that re-partnered individuals may be more prone to equally share domestic tasks to avoid dissatisfaction experiences of previous unions. Six countries in Europe are studied here, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany and Lithuania, and use the second wave of the Gender and Generation Survey (N=9,346.) Results showed that re-partnered respondents were more likely to have non-traditional divisions of housework than those in their first union. In particular, re-partnered men seemed to be more different than males in first unions. Differences among women were smaller. Therefore, findings suggest that past experiences may be important for gender equality at home, and changes in men’s contribution to domestic work seem to be an important part of the equation.

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 Presented in Session P1. Poster Session Fertility, Family and the Life Course