Married men who avoid household responsibilities earn more at work
A new study has found that married men who don't help out around the house tend to bring home bigger paychecks than husbands who play a bigger role on the domestic chores front.
Washington: A new study has found that married men who don't help out around the house tend to bring home bigger paychecks than husbands who play a bigger role on the domestic chores front.
The study "Why Disagreeableness (in Married Men) Leads to Earning More: A Theory and Test of Social Exchange at Home" was published in the journal 'Personnel Psychology'.
The study from the University of Notre Dame showed that "disagreeable" men in opposite-sex marriages are less helpful with domestic work, allowing them to devote greater resources to their jobs, which results in higher pay.
In contemporary psychology, "agreeableness" is one of the "Big Five" dimensions used to describe human personality. It generally refers to someone who is warm, sympathetic, kind and cooperative. Disagreeable people do not tend to exhibit these characteristics, and they tend to be more self-interested and competitive.
The study was led by Brittany Solomon and Cindy Muir (Zapata), management professors at Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business, along with Matthew Hall, the David A. Potenziani Memorial College Professor of Constitutional Studies and concurrent law professor at Notre Dame, and Elizabeth Campbell from the University of Minnesota.
"Across two studies, we find evidence that disagreeable men tend to earn more money relative to their more agreeable male counterparts because they are more self-interested and less helpful to their wives at home, which allows for greater job involvement and, ultimately, higher pay," Solomon said.
"This effect is even stronger among disagreeable men with more traditional gender role attitudes and when their wives are highly conscientious, presumably because in these cases their wives take on more household management and more seamlessly carry out the responsibilities," Solomon added.
The concept may bring to mind the '50s and '60s sitcom 'Leave it to Beaver', where Ward Cleaver always arrived home in time for dinner and June Cleaver wore dresses and pearls to clean floors. Did they have an advanced understanding of their respective roles?
The study suggests that because these men are able to preserve more time and energy at home, they can invest these resources into their work and earn more. However, the team found that disagreeableness does not predict career success for more egalitarian men, those whose wives are less conscientious or any men outside opposite-sex marriages. "While disagreeableness in the workplace may lead some employees to success, those hoping to attain higher pay should at least hesitate before leaning into a disagreeable workplace persona," Solomon cautioned.
Solomon added, "Indeed, if self-interested and less communal work behavior was the only key to higher pay, then disagreeable men would tend to earn more, regardless of whether they were married, how they viewed gender roles or to whom they were married."