For centuries men were expected to be the main providers or breadwinners for their families. As times have changed, women have established themselves in the working world alongside their male counterparts. But what about responsibilities at home? Working women, even those working full-time careers were often still viewed as a ‘second wage earner’ not as the primary breadwinner for the family. They maintained nearly the same level of responsibility in childcare and household tasks as their ancestral female forebears while also holding down full-time careers. Times are changing yet again. Women are now more likely to seek a masters degree than their male counterparts. Women have steadily outpaced men in earning higher degrees since the late 1990′s.
There has been a slow but steady societal shift in which women are taking over as the primary breadwinner and handing off more of the domestic tasks to their significant others. According to the most recent census, one in five stay-at-home parents is a man. More women are reporting that they share equally household chores such as cleaning, laundry and cooking than in previous decades. In a rising number of cases, the husbands are shouldering more of the chores then their wives. Childcare is the one area where women still tend to take on more than their husband.
Does that mean that a woman who earns more has more power? Not necessarily. A majority of breadwinner wives surveyed report that they share power equally with their spouses. A similar majority report that they are very happy in their marriages, whether they had children or not made little difference in that number.