Women more likely to rule the roost in Amer­i­can house­holds

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics - BY JEN­NIFER HARPER

Talk of sex and power is not con­fined to the po­lit­i­cal realm alone th­ese days. Re­search re­leased Sept. 25 sug­gests the na­tion should brace for more find­ings on such mat­ters.

“They say it’s a man’s world. But in the typ­i­cal Amer­i­can fam­ily, it’s the woman who wears the pantsuit,” said Rich Morin and D’Vera Cohn, two an­a­lysts with the Pew Re­search Cen­ter who have num­bers to back up their claim.

They found that among 43 per­cent of Amer­i­can cou­ples, the woman makes more de­ci­sions about fi­nances, week­end ac­tiv­i­ties, home pur­chases and choice of tele­vi­sion pro­grams. Husbands, in fact, hold sway in only about a quar­ter of the cou­ples, with 31 per­cent split­ting the de­ci­sion-mak­ing be­tween hus­band and wife.

The re­searchers based their con­clu­sions on a sur­vey of 2,250 adults.

Salary doesn’t al­ways rule, ei­ther. Even if a man makes more money, it is no guar­an­tee he rules the roost. In cou­ples where the man ear ns more, women still are more likely to make the de­ci­sions, 42 per­cent to 30 per­cent.

The sur vey of­fered some prom­ise of fu­ture har­mony, re- veal­ing that cou­ples older than 65 make more of their de­ci­sions to­gether, twice the rate of cou­ples younger than 30.

The re­search also found that Amer­i­cans have a dis­tinct taste for tra­di­tional sex roles in some pro­fes­sions. They tend to pre­fer their teach­ers, bankers and fam­ily physi­cians to be fe­male, their law en­force­ment of­fi­cers, sur­geons and air­line pi­lots to be male.

Pressed for an­swers, 59 per­cent said they fa­vored a fe­male ele­men­tary school teacher, com­pared with 9 per­cent who pre­ferred a male teacher. But al­most half — 46 per­cent — wanted a male po­lice of­fi­cer, while 15 per­cent fa­vored a fe­male of­fi­cer.

The doc­tor’s of­fice pre­sented a more even play­ing field. Twenty-eight per­cent wanted a male fam­ily prac­ti­tioner, 29 per­cent a fe­male — while 42 per­cent said the sexes did equally well. In the op­er­at­ing room, a third wanted a male sur­geon, 11 per­cent a fe­male — and 54 per­cent said the sex didn’t mat­ter.

The term “fly boy” still ap­plies in the air­lines, per­haps. Forty-one per­cent wanted a man in the cock­pit, 6 per­cent wanted a woman; half said the abil­i­ties of the sexes were the same.

Other re­search has ex­plored dif­fer­ences be­tween the sexes in the past year.

Women don’t au­to­mat­i­cally vote for fe­male candidates, says an anal­y­sis of Na­tional Elec­tion Study data re­leased by the Uni­ver­sity of Wis­con­sin ear­lier this year. Mean­while, men are more venge­ful and have a harder time for­giv­ing than women, ac­cord­ing to re­search from Case West­ern Re­serve Uni­ver­sity psy­chol­o­gists.

But it’s harder for women to work for a fe­male boss, at least ac­cord­ing to a Uni­ver­sity of Toronto so­ci­ol­ogy study that found women work­ing un­der a lone fe­male su­per­vi­sor re­ported more dis­tress and phys­i­cal symp­toms than those with a male su­per­vi­sor.

“Sex­ism Pays” is the ti­tle of re­search re­leased Sept. 22 by the Uni­ver­sity of Florida.

“When it comes to sex roles in so­ci­ety, what you think may af­fect what you earn. A new study has found that men who be­lieve in tra­di­tional roles for women earn more money than men who don’t, and women with more egal­i­tar­ian views don’t make much more than women with a more tra­di­tional out­look,” the study said.

Es­tro­gen TV: It’s more “Grey’s Anatomy” and less NFL foot­ball in Amer­i­can homes th­ese days, ac­cord­ing to a new sur vey that says it’s women who con­trol the re­mote con­trol.

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