Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Gendered perceptions of fairness in housework and shared expenses: Fairness evaluations over shared expenses are a stronger predictor of relationship quality than perceived equity in housework

Gendered perceptions of fairness in housework and shared expenses: Implications for relationship satisfaction and sex frequency. Brian Joseph Gillespie, Gretchen Peterson, Janet Lever. PLOS, March 20, 2019.

Abstract: There is a demonstrated relationship between couples’ division of household chores—and, to a lesser extent, the division of shared expenses—and their relationship quality. Less is known, however, about whether and how individuals’ perceived fairness of these arrangements is associated with couples’ relationships in different ways. Using a gendered equity framework, and drawing on 10,236 responses collected via an online national news website, this study examines how equity evaluations of housework and shared expenses are related to relationship satisfaction and sex frequency among different-gender household partners. Consistent with previous findings, the results indicate that evaluations of unfairness to oneself are a stronger predictor of relationship quality than perceived unfairness to one’s partner. Additionally, fairness evaluations over shared expenses are a stronger predictor of relationship quality than perceived equity in housework. Incorporating notions about traditional gender norms and expectations into the justice framework, the results point to some variation in relationship outcomes based on men’s and women’s differential equity evaluations.

Check also Sex and housework: Does perceived fairness of the distribution of housework actually matter? Kristin Hajek. Zeitschrift für Familienforschung, 31. Jahrg., 2019, Heft 1 ‒ Journal of Family Research

How changes in the distribution of housework and the perception of fairness affect sexual satisfaction and sexual frequency: Distribution of household tasks does not improve sexual satisfaction or sexual frequency

Sex and housework: Does perceived fairness of the distribution of housework actually matter? Kristin Hajek. Zeitschrift für Familienforschung, 31. Jahrg., 2019, Heft 1 ‒ Journal of Family Research

Abstract: Recent findings suggest that couples who perceive their housework distribution to be fair have more frequent sexual encounters and are more satisfied with their sex life. However, past research has relied on between-person comparisons and might therefore be biased due to unobserved confounders. By applying fixed effects panel models, this study seeks to eliminate all time-constant, group-specific heterogeneity. Using data from 1,315 cohabiting and married couples from the German Family Panel (pairfam), I have examined how changes in the distribution of housework and the perception of fairness affect sexual satisfaction and sexual frequency. Moreover, I distinguish between core (traditionally female) and non-core (traditionally male) household tasks to verify the hypothesis that a gender-stereotypic distribution of household tasks fosters sexual activity. No effect of the division of labor or the perception of fairness thereof on sexual satisfaction and sexual frequency could be found.

Key words: housework distribution, fixed effects, pairfam, perceived fairness, sexual frequency, sexual satisfaction

1. Introduction
More often than not, housework is distributed traditionally between men and women in cohabiting relationships (Bianchi et al. 2012). Over the past few decades, men’s share of housework has increased, but women still tend to carry most of the workload in the home (Bianchi et al. 2000; Bianchi et al. 2012; Blair/Lichter 1991; Klünder/Meier-Gräwe 2018). Moreover, studies show that partnership characteristics are influenced by the dis-tribution of unpaid family work. For example, if the man’s share of housework increases, the woman’s partnership satisfaction seems to rise and conflicts occur less often (Amato et al. 2003; Coltrane 2000). The likelihood for second births is also higher if the father participates to a greater degree in housework and child care (Cooke 2004). Therefore, an equal distribution of housework could be beneficial to a partnership. On the other hand, some researchers suggest that it is actually the perceived fairness of the division of labor that influences partnership satisfaction, rather than the actual distribution of household tasks (Coltrane 2000). If individuals perceive their share of housework to be justified, they appear to be happier with their relationship (Coltrane 2000). However, relatively few studies to date have addressed how exactly housework distribution and the perceived fair-ness thereof influence a couple’s sexual relationship.

Sexual frequency and satisfaction are both important factors in an intimate relation-ship. Sexuality has been found to be related to marital satisfaction (Smith et al. 2011) as well as union stability (Yabiku/Gager 2009). Therefore, it is important to examine possible influences of housework on a couple’s sex life. Since the Kinsey reports (Kinsey et al. 1948), the frequency of sexual intercourse and sexual satisfaction in relationships have received considerable attention in the social sciences. However, due to the lack of longitudinal data, the majority of studies has relied on cross-sectional analyses. Kornrich and colleagues (2013) examined married couples in the United States and found a positive correlation between a gender-stereotypic division of housework and sexual frequency. However, they analyzed decades-old, cross-sectional data and did not take into account the perceived fairness of a couple’s housework distribution. 

Using data from the German Family Panel (pairfam), a randomly sampled panel sur-vey with focus on partnership and family dynamics, I have examined how changes in the distribution of housework and the perception of fairness affect sexual frequency and sex-ual satisfaction for cohabiting and married couples from a longitudinal perspective. Johnson and colleagues (2016) also analyzed pairfam data in this regard with autoregressive cross-lagged (ARCL) models. They found an association between men’s perceived fair-ness of housework distribution and a couple’s sex life, but no association to the actual distribution of housework. However, Johnson and colleagues did not distinguish between core (traditionally female) and non-core (traditionally male) tasks as suggested by Kornrich et al. (2013), and thus cannot fully refute the findings of Kornrich and colleagues (2013). By categorizing household tasks into traditionally male and female, the following analyses aim to verify the hypothesis that a gender-stereotypic distribution of household tasks stimulates sexual scripts and leads to an increase in sexual intercourse. Further, both studies mentioned above may be biased due to unobserved heterogeneity, with one rely-ing on between-person comparisons and the other not differentiating between and within variation. By applying fixed effects regression models, I can eliminate all couple-specific time-constant heterogeneity and examine whether a change in the division of household labor and/or the perception of fairness thereof actually influences sexual satisfaction and frequency in intimate relationships.

Language Origins Viewed in Spontaneous and Interactive Vocal Rates of Bonobo Infants: While bonobo mothers were physically responsive to their infants, we didn't see a bonobo mother's vocalization directed to her infant

Language Origins Viewed in Spontaneous and Interactive Vocal Rates of Human and Bonobo Infants. D. Kimbrough Oller, Ulrike Griebel, Suneeti Nathani Iyer, Yuna Jhang, Anne S. Warlaumont, Rick Dale and Josep Call. Front. Psychol., April 2 2019.

Abstract: From the first months of life, human infants produce “protophones,” speech-like, non-cry sounds, presumed absent, or only minimally present in other apes. But there have been no direct quantitative comparisons to support this presumption. In addition, by 2 months, human infants show sustained face-to-face interaction using protophones, a pattern thought also absent or very limited in other apes, but again, without quantitative comparison. Such comparison should provide evidence relevant to determining foundations of language, since substantially flexible vocalization, the inclination to explore vocalization, and the ability to interact socially by means of vocalization are foundations for language. Here we quantitatively compare data on vocalization rates in three captive bonobo (Pan paniscus) mother–infant pairs with various sources of data from our laboratories on human infant vocalization. Both humans and bonobos produced distress sounds (cries/screams) and laughter. The bonobo infants also produced sounds that were neither screams nor laughs and that showed acoustic similarities to the human protophones. These protophone-like sounds confirm that bonobo infants share with humans the capacity to produce vocalizations that appear foundational for language. Still, there were dramatic differences between the species in both quantity and function of the protophone and protophone-like sounds. The bonobo protophone-like sounds were far less frequent than the human protophones, and the human protophones were far less likely to be interpreted as complaints and more likely as vocal play. Moreover, we found extensive vocal interaction between human infants and mothers, but no vocal interaction in the bonobo mother–infant pairs—while bonobo mothers were physically responsive to their infants, we observed no case of a bonobo mother vocalization directed to her infant. Our cross-species comparison focuses on low- and moderate-arousal circumstances because we reason the roots of language entail vocalization not triggered by excitement, for example, during fighting or intense play. Language appears to be founded in flexible vocalization, used to regulate comfortable social interaction, to share variable affective states at various levels of arousal, and to explore vocalization itself.

Politically incorrect paper: Given that sex egalitarian countries tend to have the greatest sex differences in personality & occupational choices, sex specific policies (increasing vacancies for the sex with lower hire proportion) may not be effective

Sex and Care: The Evolutionary Psychological Explanations for Sex Differences in Formal Care Occupations. Peter Kay Chai Tay, Yi Yuan Ting and Kok Yang Tan. Front. Psychol., April 17 2019.

Abstract: Men and women exhibit clear differences in occupational choices. The present article elucidates sex differences in terms of formal care occupational choices and care styles based on evolutionary psychological perspectives. Broadly (1) the motivation to attain social status drives male preference for occupations that signals prestige and the desire to form interpersonal affiliation underlies female preference for occupations that involve psychosocial care for people in need; (2) ancestral sex roles leading to sexually differentiated cognitive and behavioral phenotypic profiles underlie present day sex differences in care styles where men are things-oriented, focusing on disease management while women are people-oriented, focusing on psychosocial management. The implications for healthcare and social care are discussed and recommendations for future studies are presented.

Definitions of Care

There are clear sex preferences in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) domains (Lippa, 2010), and we expect the same sex preferences to underlie the formal care domains. Although sex ratio in STEM occupations has become less unbalanced in recent years, the sex differences remain in social disciplines such as Health and Welfare which has a greater proportion of female Ph.D. graduates (59%), contrasting with engineering, manufacturing, and construction (28%) (European Commission, 2016). Sex differences are also notable within formal care occupations. Globally, females outnumber males overwhelmingly and this sex difference is consistent across all ages, where the bulk of the female workers occupy people oriented professions such as nurses and social workers (Gupta et al., 2003; Rocheleau, 2017; Ministry of Manpower, 2018). The Luxemburg Income Study conducted with eighteen participating countries in Europe, America, Asia, and Oceania showed that across countries, at least 62–85% of health workers are females (Gupta et al., 2003). Specifically, a greater proportion of females worked in the nursing and midwifery specializations compared to physicians. In the following sections, we use EP theoretical frameworks to explicate the evolutionary roots that underlie these patterns.

Human Resource
Given that sex egalitarian countries tend to have the greatest sex differences in personality and occupational choices (Charles and Bradley, 2009; Lippa, 2010), sex specific policies such as increasing vacancies for the sex with lower hire proportion may not be effective. For instance, although demand for male-dominated blue-collar professions (e.g., manufacturing, mechanics) is shrinking while demand for female-dominated healthcare industry is growing, the resultant excess in male population in the work force did not lead to a corresponding increase in male employment in “pink-collar” formal care professions such as nursing or healthcare aides (Dill, 2017). Similarly, an overemphasis on sex-ratio reversal policies undermines the stronger effect of innate preferences. In particular, policies skewed toward promoting atypical sex employment may not ultimately lead to balanced sex employment and may be counterproductive. For instance, medical enrolment in favor of female applicants may place some eligible male applicants at a disadvantage (McKinstry, 2008). Furthermore, even though female students have a slight advantage in many STEM subjects compared to male students, female students nevertheless tend to pursue non-STEM education (Stoet and Geary, 2018).

Sex-role theorists argue that female physicians encounter greater occupational barriers because of the expectation that females are homemakers (Buddeberg-Fischer et al., 2010). Our present analysis suggests that instead, females have a natural inclination to provide care to their families. This understanding will change how we encourage females to remain as physicians. Particularly, females tend to trade-off their career development particularly when they have children so that they can devote more time for the family and more broadly, females also divert more resources toward the community, friends, and less on their careers (Ferriman et al., 2009). Thus, understanding innate preferences for sex differences underlying the effect of family demands and parenthood on career choices for medicine can provide potential solutions to facilitate the enrolment and maintenance of female physicians (Buddeberg-Fischer et al., 2010; Riska, 2011). On the other hand, males tend to undertake jobs that emphasize strong leadership and offer high extrinsic rewards such as higher income and prestige as indicative of one’s social status (Ku, 2011). Policies aimed to increase hiring of males in occupations such as nursing and social work will be more effective if is it coupled with changing societal perceptions of such professions. Awareness about the barriers toward females is nonetheless important, yet ignoring potential EP driven factors that would attract females and males into professions conventionally occupied by the opposite sex would be ineffective.

Today, psychologists understand that pure social constructivist views are insufficient in explaining sex differences and in some instances lead to incorrect conclusions. Furthermore, evidence is clear that innate tendencies exert considerable cognitive and behavioral outcomes. Thus, giving equal weighs to EP and sociocultural theories clarifies the issues related to sex differences in formal care by enabling the understanding of sex differences as emergent phenomena of the interaction between evolved tendencies and sociocultural pressures. Ultimately, this method of examination will generate more holistic views of sex differences in formal care occupations (see Table 1 for other examples and predictions using the EP analytic approach). We propose that key decision makers within the healthcare and social care sectors work with instead of against sex differences elucidated herein and researchers to be sensitive to innate sex preferences in developing research programs. Ultimately, understanding and accepting sex differences elucidated by EP theories not only enhances our knowledge, it sheds light on how problems and research can be fine-tuned based on more precise and nuanced insights additionally informed by sociocultural theories.