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Justifications and Comparisons in the Division of Household Labor: The Relevance of Gender Ideology

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 January 2013

Carmen Martínez*
Universidad de Murcia (Spain)
Consuelo Paterna
Universidad de Murcia (Spain)
Carmen Yago
Universidad de Murcia (Spain)
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Carmen Martínez. Universidad de Murcia. Facultad de Psicología. Campus de Espinardo. 30100 Murcia. (Spain). Phone: +34-968364083. Fax: +34-968364111. E-mail:


This study tests the direct relevance of justifications and social comparisons (predictors of perceptions of fairness) on different types of household labour distribution, and the importance of masculinity ideology and neosexism on these variables. The participants were heterosexual dual-earner couples. Our results showed that both men and women use more justifications when their housework distribution is not equal, but only women use social comparisons associated with the ways of distributing domestic work. In addition, we observe that, in both men and women, justifications are related to a traditional masculine ideology, but a different model appears in relation to comparisons which are associated with neosexism in men and with traditional masculine ideology in women. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.

Este estudio muestra la relevancia directa de las justificaciones y comparaciones sociales (predictores de la percepción de justicia) sobre diferentes tipos de distribución de trabajo doméstico, así como la importancia de la ideología masculina y el neosexismo sobre las citadas variables. Los participantes fueron parejas heterosexuales de doble ingreso. Los resultados demuestran que hombres y mujeres usan más justificaciones cuando su distribución doméstica es desigual, y que solo las mujeres usan comparaciones sociales asociadas a las formas de distribución. Además se aprecia que las justificaciones se relacionan con una ideología tradicional masculina mientras que las comparaciones se asocian con el neosexismo, en el caso de los hombres y con la ideología masculina tradicional en el caso de las mujeres. Las implicaciones y sugerencias del estudio se comentan en relación a la distribución doméstica.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

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