A recently published Norwegian report has stated that couples who share housework equally are 50 percent more likely to file for divorce than those couples who split up household chores unevenly, sparking intense debate from people on both sides of the issue.
The report, "Equality in the Home," was co-authored by Thomas Hansen and showed that present day couples who share work within the home does not guarantee for a satisfying relationship.
"What we've seen is that sharing equal responsibility for work in the home doesn't necessarily contribute to contentment," Hansen told AFP. "One would think that break-ups would occur more often in families with less equality at home, but our statistics show the opposite."
One of the reasons Hansen reveals that would lead to the unusual outcome has to do with the specific roles each partner plays and the likelihood that this causes overlapping of responsibilities resulting in conflicts.
"Maybe it's sometimes seen as a good thing to have very clear roles with lots of clarity ... where one person is not stepping on the other's toes…There could be less quarrels, since you can easily get into squabbles if both have the same roles and one has the feeling that the other is not pulling his or her own weight."
While he maintains that the results did surprise him he suspects there are other reasons that couples nowadays have higher divorce rates. Hansen contends that this is due to a change in the idea and role of marriage that many couples now share.
"Modern couples are just that, both in the way they divide up the chores and in their perception of marriage…In these modern couples, women also have a high level of education and a well-paid job, which makes them less dependent on their spouse financially."
Dr. Frank Furedi, a prominent sociology professor from the University of Canterbury, supported the survey and insisted that young professionals who are married already have high divorce rates. He explained that the way those couples approach the relationship could have an effect on the longevity of the partnership.
"The more you organize your relationship, the more you work out diaries and schedules, the more it becomes a business relationship than an intimate, loving spontaneous one…That tends to encourage a conflict of interest rather than finding harmonious resolutions," Furedi told The Telegraph.