Thank you for participating in our Relational Studies course. The students will post questions below, weekly. Please respond to all questions by pressing the comment link associated with each question. We will be looking at the differences and similarities between answers. Make sure you click on Older Posts at the bottom of the page as many of the questions will be on the next page.

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Do traditional gender roles dictate who does what in your relationship?


  1. I guess traditional gender roles do play a large part in who does what in our relationship... I never really thought about it much. For instance, I tend to do more of the house cleaning, laundry, cooking, etc and Steve tends to do more of the outdooor stuff like yard work, grilling, taking out the trash. However, we are not strict about these roles and each of us will take on the other's typical chores whenever needed. There are plenty of times when Steve has cooked dinner or helped clean the house or I have taken out the trash and worked out in the yard. No hard & fast rules about the chores here, but I guess we have just fallen into habits that make sense and seem natural for us.

  2. Not really. The chores we do regularly have been dictated primarily by time and availability, but like Tricia said, there are time where we have "switched." Matt does do all of the construction and "handy work" around the house. He enjoys it. He's good at it, and I'm pretty sure the last time I wielded a hammer was in 8th grade shop class. Time allows me to be the one who cooks dinner and does the dishes most nights. But I have to admit that Matt does the majority of the laundry (weekends) at our house, and he does ALL the ironing (mornings)...military man! My favorite thing to do in the summer is mow the lawn, but Matt takes care of the snow in the winter. Matt is far better at flipping pancakes, but if you ask Matt, I'm the better grill master. Like I said, we naturally gravitated towards these things. I can't say we ever really had a conversation about it nor do I think that either of us feel it one person's job to do anything in our household. -ellen

  3. Traditional gender roles did dictate who did what early in our relationship. Sheryl did most of the house work (laundry, cleaning, cooking), and I did as she likes to call it "the heavy lifting", anything outdoors (shoveling snow, gardening,lawn care, etc). What did bring some change to this was when our children were born. I realized that managing our time to do everything else and take care of the baby was very difficult initially. Even something as miniscule as me serving out the food after Sheryl cooks or me bathing the girls and getting them ready for bed while Sheryl cleans up after dinner helped us out greatly. --Val n Sheryl

  4. I think we talked about this in an earlier response, where gender doesn't necessarily dictate who does what, it's more about necessity and preference. Though I will share with you that early in our marriage I thought, since I was the woman it was my job to do the cooking.....have I mentioned the lack of cooking gene that I have! My mom was a great cook so I didn't have to do much cooking growing up, where Ken was an only child who's mom worked 6-7 days a week, so he was very good and comfortable in the kitchen....I felt very intimidated and so for the first few meals, Ken wasn't allowed in the kitchen when I cooked! Louise and Ken

  5. Jenna and I try to be as fair as possible with who does what chores both inside and outside the house. Typically, if one person has a pretty stressful week or just isn't around, the other will pick up the slack and make up for things not getting done - most of the time it gets "repaid," but not a big deal when it doesn't. However, I do have one rule, which is I handle all the yard work. Call me a traditionalist, but I just think it looks strange when I see a woman mowing the lawn, working on the house, etc. Not that there is anything wrong with that in other houses, but in our house, I just feel that that's the man's job.

    In other situations where I do most of the cooking, Jenna will do the cleaning. It's a pretty fair trade-off seeing that I like to cook and Jenna....not so much. She'll typically do most of the everyday cleaning, but if we have guests coming over, we'll both tackle those chores together.

    Early on we agreed that it's our home (collectively) and it's up to both of us to keep it functional no matter what the chore might be.

    Brett & Jenna