So why do women do more housework if “dirt blindness” isn’t to blame?
Social expectations for men and women vary, according to one claim. Women may face harsher criticism for having a less-than-immaculate house, and being conscious of these standards may inspire them to put in more effort.
We put this theory to the test by informing participants at random that the image they were seeing was either “John’s” or “Jennifer’s” home. Then, depending on how tidy their house was, we asked them to judge Jennifer’s or John’s character, including how responsible, diligent, careless, caring, and likeable they were.
Additionally, we asked participants to rate how likely they thought Jennifer or John would be to be negatively evaluated by unannounced visitors, such as extended family, coworkers, and friends, as well as how much responsibility they thought they would have for housework if they were working full-time and living alone, married with children, or a married stay-at-home parent.
Then, things started to get interesting. Depending on whether participants were informed that a woman or a male resided there, they gave the photographs varying ratings. It’s interesting to see that respondents had greater expectations for Jennifer’s hygiene than they did for John. Participants, regardless of gender, thought the tidy room was less clean and more likely to elicit negative responses from visitors when they were told it was Jennifer’s than when they were told it was John’s.
We’ve all heard ‘men are lazy’
However, we did discover that keeping a messy house comes with a significant cost for both men and women.
Both Jennifer and John earned far higher character evaluations than their more orderly counterparts, and were hence predicted to obtain significantly higher visitor evaluations.
It’s interesting to note that John’s character received lower ratings than Jennifer’s for having an untidy house, which corresponds to the stereotype that males are inherently sluggish. However, participants did not think John would be more likely than Jennifer to face unfavorable comments from guests, which implies that the stereotype that “guys are lethargic” disadvantages them in a socially significant manner.
Finally, in the hypothetical situation when she or he is a full-time working parent living with a partner, individuals were more inclined to assume that Jennifer would carry major duty for cleaning.
It implies that women are punished for clutter more often than men are, independent of their job condition, since people tend to place more responsibility for housekeeping on women than on men.
Women are held to greater standards of cleanliness than males are, and they are also held more accountable for it.
Such ideals may be internalized or embraced by certain women. The main issue, however, for many people may not be a love of cleaning but rather a dread of how a mess would be seen. This may be why many women hastily clean their homes before uninvited guests come.
The good news is that dated societal expectations can be altered with enough group resolve. We may begin by being cautious before passing judgment on someone’s house, particularly our own.