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Women Call the Shots at Home

It’s a man’s world or is it? There is new research from the National Center for Health Marketing of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to their latest report, women make the final decisions at home. These results come from a study that evaluated typical decision making in the average American home.
To explore the decision-making of the home, a Pew Research Center survey found that 43% of all couples surveyed said that it was the woman who makes the decisions rather than the man. Data was collected from 1,260 married adults through telephone interviews. Questions asked were related to four areas of domestic life: (1) household finances, (2) big home purchases, (3) shared weekend activities, and (4) television viewing. The results showed that women are increasingly taking over the role as decision maker for the household.

Ten Interesting Facts Regarding American Domestic Life

  • In 43% of the couples surveyed, men had no share in decision making in all the four mentioned areas of domestic life.
  • Only 9% of men were the decision makers in three or four areas of study.
  • 26% of men allowed their wives to make the final decision on shared weekend activities.
  • 30% of women had the final say when it came to big items for the house.
  • 19% of men were found to decide the big items for the house.
  • In the matter of household finances, 37% men believe that they make the final decision.
  • 45% of women believe that they have the final say on household finances.
  • 30% of women were allowed to decide the programs to be viewed on television.
  • 24% of women controlled the remote all the time.
  • Only older couples (age 65 and above) were found to take decisions jointly on all the four areas.

Money and Power in the Home

Approximately two-thirds of all men in dual-income families report making more money than their wives. This earning doesn’t necessarily mean making more decisions however. One research study found that by a ratio of better than two-to-one, women make more of the household decision among couples where the woman earns more than the man. Among those couples where the man earns more than the woman partner, the female is still more likely to make the decisions in most areas.

Gender and Power in Positions of Authority

The Pew Research Center also evaluated whether people are more comfortable dealing with a man or with a woman in a variety of positions of authority. These positions included doctor, banker, lawyer, police officer, airline pilot, school teacher, and surgeon. The public attitudes were mixed, according to survey results. Men tended to be favored for the role of airline pilot, surgeon, police officer, and lawyer while women were preferred as school teacher and banker. It was a tie for man and woman for the position of family doctor, however. For all seven of these positions, a remarkable percent of those surveyed reported to have no gender preference.

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