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What Determines the Perception of Fairness Regarding Household Division of Labor between Spouses?

Nakamura M, Akiyoshi M - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: It finds that social comparison with others is a key mechanism that explains women's perception of fairness.In addition to confirming the validity of the theory of relative deprivation, it further uncovers that a woman's reference groups tend to be people with similar life circumstances rather than non-specific others.The perceived fairness is also found to contribute to the sense of overall happiness.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Economics, The University of Toyama, Toyama, Toyama, Japan.

ABSTRACT
Married women often undertake a larger share of housework in many countries and yet they do not always perceive the inequitable division of household labor to be "unfair." Several theories have been proposed to explain the pervasive perception of fairness that is incongruent with the observed inequity in household tasks. These theories include 1) economic resource theory, 2) time constraint theory, 3) gender value theory, and 4) relative deprivation theory. This paper re-examines these theories with newly available data collected on Japanese married women in 2014 in order to achieve a new understanding of the gendered nature of housework. It finds that social comparison with others is a key mechanism that explains women's perception of fairness. The finding is compatible with relative deprivation theory. In addition to confirming the validity of the theory of relative deprivation, it further uncovers that a woman's reference groups tend to be people with similar life circumstances rather than non-specific others. The perceived fairness is also found to contribute to the sense of overall happiness. The significant contribution of this paper is to explicate how this seeming contradiction of inequity in the division of housework and the perception of fairness endures.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Perception of Other Wives’ Share of HHC on Woman’s Perception of Fairness around here.
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pone.0132608.g001: Perception of Other Wives’ Share of HHC on Woman’s Perception of Fairness around here.

Mentions: In sum, ordinary least square regression analyses demonstrate that time constraint theory and relative deprivation theory are supported by the data. There is some evidence in support of economic resource theory and gender value theory. Different data and different analyses may bring them back in the picture. In the context of the analyses presented here, however, the most remarkable finding is the influence of comparison with others. The effect of others’ HHC indicates that relative gratification, or more precisely, relative consolation is at work. Fig 1 shows that as the share of housework ascribed to others by the respondent increases, the latter’s perceived fairness increases, holding her own housework share constant (Fig 1). In other words, to the extent a respondent believes that other wives are doing a large share of housework, her perception of fairness is preserved. Therefore, relative deprivation theory is valid in principle, but the more generic “social comparison” may be a more appropriate label.


What Determines the Perception of Fairness Regarding Household Division of Labor between Spouses?

Nakamura M, Akiyoshi M - PLoS ONE (2015)

Perception of Other Wives’ Share of HHC on Woman’s Perception of Fairness around here.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4493123&req=5

pone.0132608.g001: Perception of Other Wives’ Share of HHC on Woman’s Perception of Fairness around here.
Mentions: In sum, ordinary least square regression analyses demonstrate that time constraint theory and relative deprivation theory are supported by the data. There is some evidence in support of economic resource theory and gender value theory. Different data and different analyses may bring them back in the picture. In the context of the analyses presented here, however, the most remarkable finding is the influence of comparison with others. The effect of others’ HHC indicates that relative gratification, or more precisely, relative consolation is at work. Fig 1 shows that as the share of housework ascribed to others by the respondent increases, the latter’s perceived fairness increases, holding her own housework share constant (Fig 1). In other words, to the extent a respondent believes that other wives are doing a large share of housework, her perception of fairness is preserved. Therefore, relative deprivation theory is valid in principle, but the more generic “social comparison” may be a more appropriate label.

Bottom Line: It finds that social comparison with others is a key mechanism that explains women's perception of fairness.In addition to confirming the validity of the theory of relative deprivation, it further uncovers that a woman's reference groups tend to be people with similar life circumstances rather than non-specific others.The perceived fairness is also found to contribute to the sense of overall happiness.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Economics, The University of Toyama, Toyama, Toyama, Japan.

ABSTRACT
Married women often undertake a larger share of housework in many countries and yet they do not always perceive the inequitable division of household labor to be "unfair." Several theories have been proposed to explain the pervasive perception of fairness that is incongruent with the observed inequity in household tasks. These theories include 1) economic resource theory, 2) time constraint theory, 3) gender value theory, and 4) relative deprivation theory. This paper re-examines these theories with newly available data collected on Japanese married women in 2014 in order to achieve a new understanding of the gendered nature of housework. It finds that social comparison with others is a key mechanism that explains women's perception of fairness. The finding is compatible with relative deprivation theory. In addition to confirming the validity of the theory of relative deprivation, it further uncovers that a woman's reference groups tend to be people with similar life circumstances rather than non-specific others. The perceived fairness is also found to contribute to the sense of overall happiness. The significant contribution of this paper is to explicate how this seeming contradiction of inequity in the division of housework and the perception of fairness endures.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus