There division of labor fits to a person’s view

There are quite a few
theories about labor division that have also been associated with relationship
satisfaction. In the following, four of them are described: Doing gender,
economic theories, negotiation theory and zero-sum game theory.

The first theory ‘doing gender’ points out the
importance of gender roles on heterosexual relationships. Due to gender roles, specific
tasks possess gendered connotations, simply because one gender traditionally
does them. For instance, women usually take care of the housework, including
cooking, cleaning and doing the laundry (Gupta, 1999). These tasks are then seen as feminine tasks,
therefore, not taking part in them has masculine connotations (Dechant et al., 2014). On the other hand, intermittent work such as repairs
around the house and auto maintenance are seen as masculine tasks (Gupta, 1999), making them unappealing for women (Barstad, 2014). Kornrich et al. (2013) argued that performing tasks that do not fit the
man’s role leads to a decrease in sexual satisfaction and frequency due to
emasculation. According to a recent longitudinal study using the pairfam data,
this belief cannot be verified since men who contributed their fair share to
housework reported higher sexual satisfaction and frequency (Johnson et al., 2016). (Dechant, Rost, &
Schulz, 2014; Schulz, 2010)

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Gender roles are being
produced and reproduced in heterosexual relationships (West & Zimmerman, 1987). One can expect that people who possess rather
traditional ideas about relationships and families will adhere to gender roles,
hence reproducing gender roles. But it has been proposed that people who
possess egalitarian views may not hold on to gender-based roles but try to
distribute housework in a fair manner, considering each other’s occupation and
producing own roles in their relationship (Barstad, 2014). If the division of labor fits to a person’s view on
gender roles – to rather comply to or reject them – a higher relationship satisfaction
and higher perceived fairness is reported than if there is no fit (see Trappe & Köppen, 2014). Ergo, gender roles and a person’s opinion on them
affect labor division and relationship satisfaction, making it a confounder.


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