Is Cohabitation More Egalitarian? : The Division of Household Labor in Five European Countries
Journal of Family Issues
US : SAGE Publications
1643 - 1646 p.
Cohabitation, Domestic labor, Gender roles, Marriage, Time use
This article compares the gendered allocation of household labor between married and cohabiting couples in five European countries: Germany, France,the United Kingdom, Italy, and Spain, testing whether cohabitors show more egalitarian divisions of labor and hypothesizing that the effect of cohabitation differs across countries, depending on the baseline equality and on the meaning of cohabitation. In order to examine to what extent there is equality, not only each partners’ contribution to the total housework time is considered but also who does what: Some tasks are more constraining than others, and gender and partnership differences specific to those tasks are investigated too. The empirical analysis is based on Multinational Time Use Surveys (N=58,490), using ordinary least squares linear regression models. Results show that cohabiting couples have a more egalitarian division of labor but that there are important country differences.