Conjugal roles & family psychology

My overall aim was to find out if conjugal roles were distributed evenly in nuclear families. In this chapter I will be displaying my results and explaining them in a way that is easy to understand. I will do this by using pie charts as I believe they present the information in the easiest simplest way so you can extract the information without any trouble. From this graph you can see the range of ages I have involved in my study. Around 50% of the samples I took were from the teachers in my college, which would explain the low frequency of samples taken from the ages 50-60.

Most of my samples were taken from middle aged adults between the ages of 40 and 50. From this graph you can see that mostly the men are primary earners in nuclear families. I can see from this chart that men even now are still the primary earners but since Ann Oakleys and Mary Boultons time I can infer that many more women have taken up the role of the primary earner and are focusing on their careers rather than being the ideal housewife. This graph also relates to the next graph on the financial decisions made in a household.

The two graphs on Financial Decisions and Primary Earners indicate through similarity that the people in a family who earn the money are the people who decide where it goes. Again as more women are becoming more economically independent with their careers they have a greater input into the household and make more financial decisions. In these two graphs men are taking to their gender specific roles as the breadwinners of the household. This graph we can also relate to the last two.

Using the information this graph gives us we can infer that it is mostly the women that do the childcare in a relationship whether or not they are the primary earner in the household. To explain this information you can take into account that when women become child bearers they often halt there careers and spend time looking after their children whilst the men stay at work to support the family as they are the primary earners. From the previous pie charts you can start to see a pattern emerging.

More men are working as the primary earners in a household and more women are at home taking care of children and doing household chores. So far women clean up more after meals and take care of the children far more than their male counterparts. The amount of men and women cleaning up after meals is just over half and half. Looking at the chart for who cleans up after evening meals and that I stated men and women probably share the workload the information fits. Also in this chart women are primarily doing the laundry but it is evident that this chore is also shared although not equally.

Again a traditional female role being performed bye a majority of women. From a male point of view it is understood that women spend more time at home so therefore explaining the fact that women do more work at home. You can see from this chart that although hardly any men are doing the laundry primarily, a lot of this chore is shared with women so in this case the traditionally female role has changed and more men are now involved with laundry. This graph shows us than men fulfil the traditional gender specific role of making and repairing things around the house.

Few women in comparison to the numbers of males are doing the D. I. Y. In this chart it is evident that more women are participating now than in the seventies and eighties with household reparations and again in this role things have changed. From these two graphs you can see that more men cook fewer meals per week than women. Also from these graphs you can see that both sexes mostly cook around 3-4 meals a week probably sharing the work load with the partner. But again women seem to be doing the major workload with more women cooking 5-6 meals a week than men.

From the seventies and eighties when Ann Oakley and Mary Boulton did their research again things have changed as more men are now cooking evening meals and participating with looking after the family in a non financial way. From these two charts you can see that men Hoover there abodes once or twice a week more than women, but a larger amount of women Hoover there abodes three to five or six to seven times a week more than men. Over all just like a lot of the conjugal roles in the house women are still doing more work than men around the house.

The majority of both sexes Hoover the house once or twice a week which could mean the workload like the cooking of evening meals could be shared. I have found that since Ann Oakley and Mary Boulton in the seventies and eighties did their research not much has changed with conjugal roles. Women are still doing more housework than men and both men and women are sticking to their gender specific roles as in men are mostly the primary earners and making the financial decisions and doing the D. I. Y whilst women are doing the household chores.

I have found out that although using different research methods my results came to the same conclusion that women are the major workforce at home and that men are not participating more in the household. I chose to do the subject of conjugal roles in nuclear families because it is always a subject on everyone’s mind living in a family “who does more work? “. My aims were appropriate for the topic of study that I chose because my questionnaire was able to uncover these aims. The literature I used was from the internet and from several school text books and were from non bias and bias sources from sociologists.

My method of research was appropriate to my aims because I needed to work out a percentage so therefore I needed quantitative data from a questionnaire. Getting the results was easy as I know a lot of nuclear families and used there anonymous results for my study. If I chose the interview method of research I think my results would have been different as I could have asked open questions and getting a percentage from qualitative data would have been hard. I had difficulty thinking of appropriate closed questions to reach my aims but I managed to invent ten questions for this purpose.

I believe my results are valid because there were collected in quantitative form which made them easy to analyse and I was using closed questions so would not insult the person or change the way they answer them. Sociologists such as Mary Boulton and Ann Oakley did the same research and came to similar results but I believe there work was biased as they were feminists trying to prove that men do nothing in the household but with my results I have tried to explain what the results mean.

My first pilot questionnaire was not asking appropriate questions and did not get me the results that I needed therefore I listened to the problems and corrected them accordingly. Some of my questions were not appropriate such as “who unloads the dishwasher? ” I realised that some people wouldn’t have a dishwasher and therefore I would only get results from some people in answer to this, so I wouldn’t be able to come up with an accurate percentage. In accordance to this problem I broadened the question to “who cleans up after meals?

” because that would involve washing up, loading the dishwasher and clearing the table after a family meal. I had to decide what type of data presentation to use and which one would best represent my data. I chose the pie chart over line and scatter graphs because it is easy to read the information. I decided to leave out the graph of the sex of the participants because the number of male and female I used even though equal would not help me or anyone reading my results find out whether conjugal roles are divided equally in nuclear families.

In my results I have presented the easy to understand pie charts one after another with texts explaining them underneath each chart. You can also draw conclusions from the simple way that I represented my results and make assumptions. I went into this research trying to find out whether conjugal roles are equal because a lot of people have their opinions about it. I wasn’t hoping to find any particular results but to find out whether the roles are shared in a family so therefore I don’t believe any values or expectations I had would affect my interpretation of the data.

Although I thought conjugal roles were now equal many women that I have talked to say they are doing most of the work in the house and to do with the children. From my results I have found that it is not such a large gap but 45% of men do house work compared to 60% of women. The second aim did surprise me as the result has not changed since Ann Oakley and Mary Boulton did their research. Since their research in the 70’s and 80’s Women are still doing more housework and childcare than men, and men are still doing their gender specific roles of being the primary earner and supporting the family and doing the D.

I. Y and gardening. ‘Despite a reduction of gender differences in the occupational world in recent years, one occupational role remains entirely feminine: the role of housewife. No law bans men from this occupation, but the weight of economic, social and psychological pressures is against their entry to it. The equation of femaleness with housewifery is basic to the structure of modern society… ‘ a quote from Ann Oakley’s book “The sociology of housework” published in 1974.

From this quote you can see she admits that the gender differences in housework have been reduced but she says men due to economic, social and psychological pressures still don’t do as much as women. My results confirm this more than 30 years later which I found surprising as I thought men were doing more around the house. Also our results I expected to be different because she interviewed women as her preferred method of research and I handed out closed question questionnaires to men and women.

Interpretivism would criticise me for my method arguing it does not have verstehen and validity as is a closed question questionnaire. After analysing my results I found that only 45% of men did regular house work in comparison to 60% of women doing the same. Again this backs up Ann Oakley and Mary Boulton’s work on conjugal roles. In conclusion I have found that little has changed with conjugal roles and house work and that woman are still doing the majority of the work at home.

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