Fin de l'union conjugale, genre et tâches ménagères en Suisse
Longitudinal analyses, which track particular individuals through time, are few, and look mainly at changes in the division of household tasks between partners. They emphasize the increased time that women devote to housework when the couple and the family are formed, but they do not say whether this phenomenon is reversible. Does the opposite occur at the end of the relationship? What is the pattern for men? Longitudinal analysis of the data of the Swiss Household Panel (SHP) shows that the end of a conjugal relationship (after separation or death) leads to a reduction of the time that women devote to housework, whereas it has little effect on men’s investment. Discussion of the various factors behind these results suggests that the theory of “doing gender,” widely evoked in studies on the division of household tasks within couples, may provide only a partial explanation. This theory seems more appropriate to explain the behaviour of women than that of men. The household involvement of the latter seems to depend less on the people with whom they interact than on cultural factors such as normative references concerning housework division and investment which are specific to each generation.
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