PACT Research

Milkie, Melissa A., Dana Wray, and Irene Boeckmann. Forthcoming. “Gendered Pressures: Divergent Experiences of Housework Time Among Partnered Canadians.” Journal of Comparative Family Studies.


In Western countries, men’s and women’s unpaid labor time has converged in recent decades, promising gender equality. Nevertheless, a stubborn gap remains. We extend our understanding of the stalled revolution by examining gender differences not only in hours but in everyday experiences linked to housework time. We argue that pressures linked to household tasks are a key gendered quality associated with daily domestic work, particularly given the cultural weight and responsibility of housework for women. With time diaries from the 2015 Canadian General Social Survey (GSS), we examine housework time among different-sex partnered women and men aged 25-64 years (N=6,850). We assess whether more housework time is associated with time pressures – feeling rushed, stressed, trapped, and unaccomplished in one’s daily goals – and whether this differs by gender. As expected, women do more housework than men; and more daily housework is generally associated with greater pressures. Results show gender divergence in the relationship between hours and two forms of pressure. For women, housework time is associated with feeling stressed, whereas for men it is not. In contrast, housework time is associated with feeling unaccomplished more so for men than for women. Thus, in addition to gender differences in the amount of time spent on unpaid work, there is an experiential gender gap. The association of more housework time with feeling unaccomplished for men but not women portends a continued cultural mismatch between masculinity and domestic labor. Examining divergent qualities of domestic labor engagement extends knowledge of the stalled gender revolution.

Milkie, Melissa A., Dana Wray, and Irene Boeckmann. 2021. “Creating Versus Negating Togetherness: Perceptual and Emotional Differences in Parent-Teenager Reported Time.” Journal of Marriage and Family.

Wray, Dana, Julia Ingenfeld, Melissa A. Milkie, and Irene Boeckmann. Forthcoming. “Beyond Childcare: Changes in the Amounts and Types of Parent-Child Time over Three Decades.” Canadian Review of Sociology

Abstract Parents’ time with children has steadily increased over the past several decades in Canada. Yet, research on parent-child time focuses narrowly on childcare activities, overlooking the majority of the total time parents spend with children. In contrast to childcare, trends in parents’ total time with children remain unclear. Using time diaries from the 1986-2015 General Social Survey, we examine trends in the quantity and distribution of parents’ contact and childcare time, and investigate whether behavioral or demographic factors drive these changes. Contact time with children in Canada increased steadily since the mid-1980s, by 1 hour per day for fathers and 1.5 hours for mothers. This rise was driven not only by childcare activities but also housework with children present. Decomposition analyses indicate that changes in parenting behavior primarily explain these increases. This study expands knowledge on intensive parenting to include a more comprehensive understanding of parents’ daily lives with children.