Psychological Self-Help

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Surveys usually show that men support "women's issues," such as
abortion and day care, more than women do! Surveys also have
shown that women believe women's liberation has benefited men more
then women! That is, women have assumed more responsibility for
financially supporting the family (almost 60% are employed) than men
have assumed for caring for the house and family. Hochschild (1989)
interviewed 50 two-career couples and found that the women worked
15 hours more each week than their husbands did. Other studies
report that 50-70% of women say their husbands don't do their share
of the housework. It is interesting that 75% of women say men have
excessive expectations of them in terms of housework and child care,
but 80% of the women feel men underestimate women's ability at the
work place. Hochschild offers solutions to this unfairness. 
It seems clear that most women have changed in the last 30 years
and many men have too. But many men still have a lot of changing to
do. The ideals have already changed or are changing; males need to
listen more, aggress less, and cooperate more. Husbands of working
women are supposed to do an equal share of the housework and child
care (remember 70% of such women believe their man isn't doing his
share). Men must also take more responsibility for seeing that women
are accepted, respected, and treated equally where they work. Men
must challenge their male friends who still have the arrogant,
unthinking, or sick chauvinist ideas underlying physical and sexual
abuse and sexual harassment. Since overly masculine men don't take
suggestions or orders from women well, males sympathetic with
females must take the lead in vigorously confronting other males who
are unaccepting, unfair, or abusive. This won't be easy. And, women
need to provide other women with support groups and networks to
counter the power-seeking "good old boys." 
Among my college students, I often raise the question of why men
have to do most of the approaching and asking out. The women
invariably say that if they did the approaching, men would think they
were being too aggressive or were sexually promiscuous, and, thus,
wouldn't respect or like them. Almost 100% of men laugh at these
notions and say they would love to be approached. Give it a try,
women. Women have to do some changing too. None of us like to take
the lead and then be rejected (see "meeting people" above). 
What determines who will be the boss in a marriage? Mostly the
education of the wife. Peplau, Rubin and Hill (1977) found that among
dating couples 95% of the women and 87% of the men say that each
sex should have exactly equal power in decision-making. But, less
than half of the couples felt their relationship was, in fact, egalitarian.
Among the remaining couples, two-thirds of the women and three-
quarters of the men felt the man was more in control. Three factors
are related to power: (1) the couple's ideas about gender roles, e.g.
traditionalists think the man should make the final decisions, (2) the
degree to which each one is "in love" or dependent on the other (the
less involved partner has more power), and (3) the female's education
(if she drops out of college, she is more likely to be dominated; if she
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