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Women Perform the Bulk of ‘Mental Housework’ in Relationships

April 6, 2017

And that could be bad for the relationship, researchers say

Women take the lion’s share of responsibility of keeping track of chores and appointments, according to a new study.

Researchers at William Paterson University and Columbia Business School recently published a series of five studies that found both men and women believe women will take responsibility for “mental housework,” which includes keeping track of the household to-do list and calendar. And this disparity could make women more overwhelmed and lead them to think that they are in an unfair relationship.

Men, meanwhile, are less likely to remind partners about tasks — except when it’s in their own self-interest. “The less selfless the reminder, the more likely that it was issued by a man,” Elizabeth Haines, a William Paterson psychology professor, told USA Today. “The results certainly suggest that men benefit more from the collective nature of couples’ mental work than their female partners do.”

Studies have shown that women in the U.S. still do far more housework than men. Researchers say that the pressure of “mental housework” can further put stress on the relationship and give women anxiety. “Women: When your partner asks you to remind him for something, you can just tell him: ‘Ask Siri,'” Haines said.

[USA Today]