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18 December 2014

Blue jobs v pink jobs – the big cleaning divide

With so much to squeeze into an average day, it’s no wonder many people rely on cleaning companies such as Molly Maid to keep their homes in order. Professionals have the know-how to leave everything sparkling, but what happens when men and women are forced to do the housework for themselves? Well, it seems there is such a thing as blue and pink jobs with many chores being done primarily by one sex or the other.

That’s right, according to a recent survey by Mumsnet, women do the lion’s share of work around the home with 66 per cent admitting they wouldn’t want help from their partner for fear they might do the tasks badly. Results showed that 71 per cent of working mothers are responsible for the weekly clean, 77 per cent are responsible for washing, 63 per cent do more tidying up, and 57 per cent do all or most of the ironing. 

In support of the above survey, research commissioned by BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour found that ladies devote well over the equivalent of a working day each week to household chores – double the amount undertaken by men. Females spend a whopping 11 and a half hours over the course of seven days doing housework whereas men complete just six. Women also revealed their chief responsibilities were changing sheets (86 per cent) and cleaning the toilet (83 per cent) whereas men would take out the bins when necessary (80 per cent) and complete DIY tasks around the house (78 per cent).
Adam Ludlow, of polling firm ComRes, which conducted the research said: “These results indicate there is a clear divide between the sexes when it comes to housework.
“It’s also interesting to note that in polls of this kind, men tend to be bolder in their claims often leading to overestimation whereas women tend to be more cautious and err on the side of underestimation.”
While men often get criticised for their lack of housework, however, it seems they do make an attempt at cleaning and are even thought to do a better job than their female companions when they do get to finally whip out the bleach.
Indeed a survey by revealed men are more thorough and less likely to cut corners with 33 per cent likely to vacuum underneath beds – 70 per cent of women admitted to not hovering under the beds in comparison to 67 per cent of men. Similarly, half of all women polled admitted to just giving surfaces a quick wipe to save time in comparison to 47 per cent of men who preferred to give everything a good scrub.
Of course, women might resent men getting praise considering they spend more time making things look nice but Aggie Mackenzie from Channel 4’s How Clean is Your House offers one explanation for why men feel the need to do a good job stating:  “It’s a bit like cooking, men rarely cook but when they do – my God. It is either something really elaborate or a great BBQ. They feel they need to prove themselves and it’s the same with cleaning.”
Cleaning has divided the sexes for centuries and it appears that while men play a more active role in the household than they did a few decades ago, things might not have changed as much as we’d like to believe. Of course, every family and couple is different but why not question what goes on in your home and see if your answers match the research above?

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1 comment

  1. I must admit I do ALL the housework in the house but then again, I am a stay at home mum, whereas my fiance does work full time nights. He's great with the kids when he's at home though! I do wish he'd help a bit more but I'm fed up of nagging him about it lol!


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