If you knew that your partner would expect you to take on a traditional gender role, would you think twice about heading down the aisle? According to a study that was recently featured in The Huffington Post, women currently living with someone who holds such views are more hesitant to say “I do.”
If you ask me (if you don’t want to ask me that’s ok too) it makes sense that a woman who, while dating a man isn’t treated like his equal, regardless of how much she is contributing to the home, may be concerned that things will change once the honeymoon phase comes to an abrupt end.
The research indicated “unmarried couples have very conventional views of household gender roles.” Most would think that a couple that has elected to live together before marriage has a very non-traditional way of thinking; however, this research points out just the opposite. Despite income, in such relationships men were still viewed as the breadwinner and women were still expected to take on a more domestic role.
Although the couples had living arrangements that were more accepted in this day and age, they were functioning in ways similar to those that were the societal norms of decades past. These days we all know that women can be the breadwinners in their family and that men can do more domestic type work and even take on the majority of the child rearing. Despite this, it has been said that many cohabitating couples are “playing house” by acting out more traditional roles.
My interpretation of the article leads me to believe that the playing house is to appease the male “breadwinners” who desire to be viewed as such regardless of their financial situation. And it doesn’t end there. Of the study’s male participants, “While they were content to let their girlfriends pay at least half of the rent, they admitted that they had no plans to take on half of the housework, even if their partners were very unhappy about doing more than their fair share.”
It’s no wonder the women involved in the study were on the fence when it came to marriage and were concerned that things would only get worse if they did get married. I would like to know if they were on the fence about their relationships all together especially after learning their breadwinning boyfriends would not help more even if they were unhappy with their current situations. For more on the study be sure to visit The Huffington Post.
What are your thoughts? Would you be less inclined to marry someone who felt strongly about upholding traditional gender roles or did you already? Any advice for those who may be struggling with their spouses desire for them to adapt to or take on such roles?
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