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Secret: men are happier when household chores split, but women still do majority

Published: Friday, Dec. 21 2012 10:10 a.m. MST

This photo taken Oct. 13, 2009 shows Peter Worden fixing dinner for his family at their home in Chatham, N.J., using a magazine that he discovered offers recipes for a month's worth of varied meals. According to a study, men do more paid work than women, but women do more work at home.

Mel Evans, AP

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Even though the number of women in the workforce has increased, the division of household chores isn't split equally, according to a study by OECD.

While not a huge difference, women were shown to work 21 minutes a day more than men, although less of that time is spent doing paid work, according to an article by Time. On average, women put in 4 hours per day at a paid job, while men work 5. But when it comes to domestic chores (housework and child care), women work a little over 4 hours per day while men do 2.7 hours.

Different countries had larger varied domestic chore differences between men and women. In countries like Norway, the Netherlands and New Zealand, men put in more overall hours. In countries like Portugal and India, women put in a lot more time than men.

Part of this, the study found, was because women preferred to work more at home than men. Sixty percent of mothers wanted part-time work. For men, this number was only 12 percent.

"Men and women have to be able to find a work-life balance that suits them, regardless of family status or household income," said the study. "Sharing child care responsibilities can be difficult in a culture where men are considered professionally uncommitted if they take advantage of parental leave and mothers are sidetracked from career paths. And if good quality, affordable child care is unavailable, it may simply be impossible for many parents, especially those on low incomes, to work full-time and take care of their families."

Men, however, were found to be happier when they make an equal contribution to household chores, according to a study by the University of Cambridge.

"The academics expected to find that men’s work-family conflict rose, and their well-being fell, when they did more housework," according to the study. "In practice, they found the opposite, with conflict falling, and well-being going up."

EMAIL: alovell@deseretnews.com

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