Study: Men still want women who earn income, keep house

Traditional gender roles persist

INDIANAPOLIS - A University of Indianapolis study is getting people talking about gender roles. 

U of I professor of sociology, Dr. Amanda Miller, studied 30 working class couples who are living together but who are not married.

"It was very much the men were thrilled to have girlfriends bringing in at least half the income, so that was something that made them very happy. They didn't want them not to work. I think they would have been upset if they didn't," Miller said. "They just wanted to make sure that when both partners got home at the end of day, the women were going to do most of the house work too."

Miller said she found a third of the couples were very happy with their gender roles. Both the men and women were working outside the home, and the women did more of the housework. 

In another third, the women were very unhappy and trying to get their boyfriend to do more housework, but their efforts were in vain. 

And in the last third, the girlfriends were earning most of the money and doing most of the housework and were extremely unhappy.

“We were quite surprised -- there were so many couples in which women were doing it all," Miller said.
Miller told RTV6 that even as the tradition of marriage fades among some groups, traditional gender roles do not.

And Miller added, "Make sure if you are going to move in with somebody, make sure you talk about these issues first, it can avoid a lot of heartache down the line."

Miller conducted this study with a professor from Cornell University. They will next look at middle class couples and gender roles.

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