Assessment of the View that Conjugal Roles Have Become Equal Essay

1232 Words Nov 12th, 2013 5 Pages
Different sociologists have had different views to whether conjugal roles have become equal. Researchers have measured different aspects of equality/inequality in conjugal roles. Some have concentrated on the division of labour in the home: they have examined the allocation of responsibility for domestic work between husband and wife and the amount of time spent by spouses on particular tasks. Others have tried to measure the distribution of power within marriage. Willmott and
Young, and Gillian Dunne are amongst those who have argued that conjugal roles are equal. However many sociologists such as Ann
Oakley, Ferri and Smith, Duncombe and Marsden, and Edgel, who have carried out research into the area of conjugal
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She found that most wives saw these jobs as their own responsibility, where only 15% of men in marriages participated in them at a high level. Sociologists such as Ann Oakley have argued that women have increasingly been taking on a dual burden: they have retained primary responsibility for household tasks while also being expected to have paid employment.

Jonathan Gershury agrees with Ann Oakley and disagrees with the statement that conjugal roles have become equal. He points out that dual burden could lead to increased inequality between husbands and wives as a rising proportion of women suffer from it. He believes that dual burden is a result of lagged adaptation where there is a time lag between women taking up paid employment and men adapting to this by increasing their contribution to domestic labour. In 1992 Gershury studied the changes in hours worked by men and women over time, analysing data from 1974/5 to 1987. It showed a gradual increase in the amount of domestic labour performed by men. This increase was greatest when wives were in full-time employment, husbands whose wives worked full time doubled the amount of time they spent cooking and cleaning. Gershury concluded that though women still bear the main burden of domestic labour, there is a gradual trend towards

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