Women have made huge strides in equality from the careers they pursue to the wages they earn. But as Ladders reports, the stereotypes about gender roles are difficult to shake. Despite the fact that more and more women are becoming the primary breadwinners in their households, a new study conducted by Pew Research Center found that people still expect men to be the financial providers for their families.
The study analyzed couples from the 1980s to today. Researchers found that the percentage of women who earn as much or more than their male partner increased from 13% to 28%. Consequently, the percentage of men who make more than their female partners dropped from 87% to 69%. Despite the shifting figures indicating that women are getting closer to financial parity with their partners, the general public's expectations of who is responsible for maintaining finances is still stuck in the past.
According to the study, 72% of men and 71% of women surveyed thought that it was the man's responsibility to financially support his family in order to be a good partner. 39% of women thought females should be financially responsible for their family, compared to 25% of men who felt the same.
As always, progress is a continuous effort fraught with countless obstacles to overcome. While statistics may reflect an equal power dynamic, culture is what sets the stage for progress (and is arguably more difficult to measure and change). These new statistics are no doubt a positive thing, but there is always more work to be done.