The Huffington Post:
The phrase “the second shift” entered the popular lexicon a quarter century ago, when sociologist Arlie Hochschild and Anne Machung published a popular book by that name. Based on in-depth interviews and in-home observations of working couples, the book revealed that, despite entering the labor market and pursuing careers in record numbers, women were still taking care of most of the routine household and childcare responsibilities. The authors documented the toll that balancing career and unpaid domestic labor was taking on families, and women in particular — in stress, marital tension, exhaustion and guilt.
Many others have studied this “double burden” in the years since, and surprisingly little has changed. Wives still report doing about twice as much housework and childcare as their husbands, and this imbalance often poses a barrier to women’s professional advancement. One difference is that today’s couples, even if they unconsciously embrace traditional gender stereotypes and live less-than-egalitarian lives, may publicly proclaim more egalitarian values.
How are these conflicted couples’ kids affected by all of this? Are their own professional and family aspirations shaped by what they see at home, or by what they hear publicly, or by hidden stereotypes — or by all three? University of British Columbia psychological scientist Alyssa Croft and her colleagues decided to explore this important question, and to disentangle these competing influences on kids’ views of gender and work — and their hopes for the future.
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