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The impact of egalitarian division of labor on individual happiness and relationship satisfaction in co-mother couples

20 July 2012


Researchers in western cultures have reported that division of labor (DOL) between heterosexual partners is often unequal, especially in terms of paid labor and childcare duties. This may result in dissatisfaction with the DOL, which is associated with lower happiness and relationship satisfaction. Other researchers have indicated that satisfaction with the DOL may be more important to relationship satisfaction than is actual egalitarian DOL. While same-sex female couples strongly value egalitarianism and strive to enact this value, evidence is mixed on whether such couples achieve egalitarianism. This study primarily investigated the degree to which co-mother couples achieve egalitarian DOL and whether this is correlated with individual happiness and with relationship satisfaction, as has been found for heterosexual couples. I also explored correlations between satisfaction with DOL and the following: egalitarianism in DOL, individual happiness, and relationship satisfaction. Findings included non-egalitarian DOL for co-mother couples, high satisfaction with DOL, high relationship satisfaction, and high happiness.


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