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Men happiest when domestic chores are equally divided: study

Nadine Bells
Shine On
June 28, 2012

Feeling a little blue, lads? Pick up that broom and help out around the house. You might find yourself feeling more fulfilled.

A recent study out of Cambridge University is claiming that men in domestic relationships with a woman are happiest when they contribute equally to household chores.

Sociologists studied lifestyle data from 30,000 men and women across Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, France and Britain. The participants were asked to measure their happiness or well-being, says a press release. They were also asked questions designed to assess levels of work-life conflict.

These answers were then compared against a separate set of questions that asked how much time each individual spent on household activities like cooking, cleaning, shopping and D-I-Y projects.

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Researchers anticipated that women's levels of happiness would increase when their husbands or live-in partners took on more household responsibilities.

Instead, they found that it was the men who were happier when they made an equal contribution to household chores. They women's happiness levels were barely affected.

"This suggests that men may be uncomfortably conscious of work getting in the way of their doing a fair share of the chores at home, whereas women have been doing a double shift," reads the release.

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Jacqueline Scott, professor of empirical sociology at Cambridge University and co-author of a book on gender roles, says this is likely because men now support greater gender equality than they did in the past — and feel guilty if they don't shoulder some of the burden of housekeeping.

"As a more equitable philosophy becomes the ideal, if you are experiencing something which doesn't live up to that, you are more ready to express dissatisfaction — and certainly that is what is perceived by men," Scott tells the Telegraph. "They are picking up on more family conflict."

The study also says that "men prefer a quiet life with the domestic chores to a noisier one with a discontented other half."

Interestingly enough, another recent study reveals that working women still do more housework than men.

Here are some tips on how to handle household chores — with love.

Does your husband or live-in boyfriend help out around the house?

Watch the video below for bedroom ideas to boost intimacy.

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