Couples’ Ideological Pairings and Housework Sharing

Natalie Nitsche, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Daniela Grunow , Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

This paper examines the gendered division of housework among German couples, testing a novel intra-couple mechanism potentially driving it. We investigate whether relative resources have a differential impact on housework divisions contingent on partners’ agreement on gender ideology, or their ideological pairings. We hypothesize that whether partners agree or disagree on gender ideology will shape work-family arrangements and negotiation processes over work-divisions. Using multi-level growth curve modeling and data from the German ‘Pairfam’ Panel, we indeed find a significant interaction between ideological pairings and relative income. However, increases in her income share are associated with decreases in her housework share only among dual egalitarian couples and conflicting couples with an egalitarian woman. No income effect is present among dual traditional couples or conflicting couples with a traditional woman. These findings suggest that bargaining and/or planned gender equal arrangements occur primarily when the female or both partners hold gender egalitarian ideologies.

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 Presented in Session 104. Family Values and Behaviour