Women's Work-Family Conflict and Gender Roles in Same- and Opposite-sex Partnerships
This project, spearheaded by undergraduate research assistant Jacob Hawkins and fulfilling the requirements for his Honors Thesis and Provost Fellowship, focuses on work-family and family-work conflict, gender roles, and other issues relating to work and family life as they may be relevant for women in same- and opposite-sex domestic partnerships.
Despite increasing access to the professional sphere, working women are still assuming the majority of domestic responsibility within their relationships (Coltrane, 2000). And as working women juggle the responsibilities of both work and family life, research suggests they are at a greater risk of work-family conflict than their male counterparts (Rogers & Amato, 2000). However, research on this subject has largely adopted a heteronormative lens, thus, we know relatively little about role conflict as it is experienced by women in same-sex relationships, if at all.
Seeking to correct this lack of research, the present study aims to compare working women in same-sex and opposite-sex dyads on levels of work-family conflict, relationships satisfaction, and delineation of professional and domestic labor with their partners given prior studies suggesting gay women enjoy greater equity and gender-role freedom within their relationships than their heterosexual counterparts (Bell & Weinburg, 1978; Kurdek, 1993; Perlesz et al., 2010).
Based on a review of the role-conflict and relationship functioning literature, we have developed the Work-Life Balance Survey to assess the above measures. Currently, we are preparing this questionnaire for circulation.