Sunday, December 7, 2008

Women "Genetically" Wired for Housework?

Alan Franks must've lost a bet. Why else would the junior economics and business major at Mercer University's Stetson School of Business and Economics send the op ed, Housewife economics keep women at home for publication in today's Telegraph? (Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page.) This is the editorial equivalent of having to wear your underwear on the outside of your pants at the formal. I suspect that women are going to be giving him hell about this for the foreseeable future.

Franks makes the argument that simple "laws" of economic make it more sensible for women to do the housework while men bring home the bacon. Read the whole piece, but be prepared to pick your jaw up off the floor, several times. As I read it, I initially thought that it was a witty, tongue-in-cheek piece, but no, I think the poor guy really means it. Here are a couple of money quotes:

Genetically, women are more apt to perform longer, less intense tasks, whereas men are genetically programmed to perform shorter, more intense tasks. But beyond genetical and sociological reasons, there is an underlying economic theme that supports the notion that a woman contributes more to society by performing duties that we stereotypically view as "housewife" activities.


In the arena of home chores, the typical wife gives up less effort than the husband would in performing basic home activities. Whereas it takes an equal effort from both the husband and wife to bring in a supportive income, the man would have to put forth much more energy than the wife to accomplish the same home chores with the same quality. Simply put, a woman's place may well be in the home, but not because the male is better at bringing in a supportive income. Rather, wives often find themselves at home because of the economic laws of competitive and comparative advantage. Housewives around the world, smile, because you are queen for a good reason.

If you ask me, poor Alan is going to an awful lot of trouble to avoid washing the dishes. There's some good news for him though, I sure that Albert Mohler will have a job for him once he graduates.


Tina said...

Somehow the long history of women as agricultural workers seems to have been overlooked. For most of history and in all but the most fortunate families, dawn to dusk physical labor of some sort has been the key to survival for both men and women. I am old enough to remember women picking cotton in the heat of the day. Perhaps the writer was thinking only of women in certain income and cultural groups. Perhaps the writer is also naive.

Amy Morton said...

No kidding. I hope he's married because, otherwise, he's never getting a date.