Men and Women Have Differing Views on Who Handles Household Responsibilities and the Impact of Having a Child on Parents’ Careers

Mothers are more likely than fathers to say they do more around the house than their partner, and women are more likely to say having a child is an obstacle for job security.

December 14, 2021

Mothers are more likely than fathers to say that they do all or most household responsibilities, while fathers tend to say they share the responsibilities equally, according to a new poll from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

The poll also finds that women are more likely than men to say having a child is an obstacle to job security.

Thirty-five percent of mothers report doing more than their partner for each of the eight household responsibilities asked about on the survey, compared to just 3% of fathers who report the same.

A majority of nonparents, regardless of gender, expect to share responsibilities equally should they have children with a partner someday. However, women are still more likely than men to expect to do more than their partner for three-fourths of the responsibilities.

When it comes to the workplace, half of adults who have been employed say having a child is an obstacle to employees’ advancement. About 4 in 10 say the same regarding job security and the opportunity for a raise. Women and adults under 30 are more likely to view having a child as an obstacle.

To manage work and personal lives, 66% of adults have chosen a job with a schedule that allows them to manage their other responsibilities, and 68% get support from friends or family.

The survey finds that among parents and nonparents, the top factors when considering having a child are a stable partner and a secure job.

The nationwide poll was conducted by the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research from October 7 to October 11, 2021, using AmeriSpeak®, the probability-based panel of NORC at the University of Chicago. Online and telephone interviews using landlines and cell phones were conducted with 1,054 adults. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.0 percentage points.

Suggested Citation: AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.  (December, 2021). “Men and Women Have Differing Views on Who Handles Household Responsibilities and the Impact of Having a Child on Parents’ Careers.” [https://apnorc.org/projects/men-and-women-have-differing-views-on-who-handles-household-responsibilities-and-the-impact-of-having-a-child-on-parents-careers]

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