A team of researchers explored why women still do more household chores than men. The theory is published in the journal Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
The Affordance Theory
In order to better understand the inequality in household labor, the researchers turned to the psychological notion of “affordances”. The theory runs that the quality or property of an object is defined by its possible uses.
The Findings: Why Men Don’t Do As Many Household Tasks
The results revealed that the reasons why men’s perception of domestic tasks differs from women’s lie in societal interventions. Gendered social orientations mean that women are more likely to perceive the “affordances” for particular domestic tasks; men don’t. Over time, this attitude contributes to gender inequality in the domestic division of labor.
The authors added: “Neuroscience has shown that perceiving an affordance can trigger neural processes preparing you for physical action. This can range from a slight urge to overwhelming compulsion, but it often takes mental effort not to act on an affordance. Social norms shape the affordances we perceive. Some skills are explicitly gendered, such as cleaning or grooming, and girls are expected to do more domestic chores than boys.”
To Know More You May Refer To
McClelland, T., & Sliwa, P. (2022). Gendered affordance perception and unequal domestic labour. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. https://doi.org/10.1111/phpr.12929