Chores can stir up emotions, too. Unpaid domestic work can be physically demanding, monotonous and isolating, and when one partner – usually the woman – is responsible for the lion’s share of the work, research has shown, that partner’s mental health can suffer.
This fact was largely borne out in a new study of more than 700 Swedish men and women, published this week in the journal PLoS ONE. Predictably, the researchers found that 42-year-old women bear a greater burden of housework than their male counterparts, and also that they’re more likely to experience restlessness,nervousness, anxiety and other symptoms of psychological distress.
But there was a catch: The link between stress and unequal household chores appeared to depend on other factors in the relationship, such as views on gender equality and the partners’ relative socioeconomic position in society – how lucrative and prestigious their jobs are, for instance.
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