New Study Shows Increased Divorce Rate For Sharing Housework

Are you and your spouse proud of sharing the household responsibilites around the house? Well, you might not be so happy with the shared chores for very long. A new study is challenging the conventional wisdom that sharing household chores such as cleaning the kitchen and scrubbing the toilets will decrease the odds of divorce.

According to TODAY, researchers have used data from 2007-2008 on thousands of Norwegian adults to determine what kind of link there is between marriage, housework and happiness.

Of course, the researchers don’t want men to use their study as a reason to stop doing their share of chores around the house.

The researchers have found that divorce rates were actually higher for the approximately 25 percent of couples who shared all of the housework equally than for the 71 percent of couples in which the women did the majority, if not all, of the housework.

The rates of divorce were also significantly higher among the 4 percent of households in which the men did the majority of the housework. The sample size of this group was quite smaller, but the researchers still noticed the differences in the divorce rate.

“The main point is that there is little to indicate that gender equality at home protects against divorce, as many people think and as is typically maintained by scholars in the field,” Thomas Hansen, a researcher with a Norwegian social research institute and one of the co-authors of the study, told TODAY in an e-mail.

Researchers believe that the couples that share the housework equally may have more modern views on marriage and divorce. They also believe that the women, in these types of marriages, may have more financial independence in order to get out of an unhappy marriage.

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