August 8, 2008
New Cornell study: Stand by your man's crazy work schedule, even if it means abandoning your own career
Can you handle one more blog post about wives and husbands and kids and careers and stay-at-home parents? Because I can't resist mentioning this latest study on the topic.
According to the study (courtesy of Cornell University's sociology department, and based on U.S. census stats from 1995 to 2000), when husbands work 60+ hours a week, their wives are 44 more likely to abandon their own career to keep the household running smoothly. And if the husband works 60+ hours a week and the couple has kids, the number of wives who abandon their own career jumps up to 90 percent.
On the flip side, "men aren't any more likely to stop working when their wives begin to spend 60 hours a week or more on the job," says a U.S. News & World Report article on the study.
What's more, "even after [researchers] adjusted the statistics to account for factors like education levels and income, the gender differences remained."
I don't like these lopsided stats any more than I imagine you do. Plus, I've often wondered how these studies would play out if same-sex and/or unmarried couples factored into the equation.
But back to the study at hand: I know many couples throughout the country who do not neatly fit into the parameters put forth in this study. And I'm guessing I'm not the only one. So go ahead, tell me your best breadwinning mom story. Comment away.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.
Kristen Fife is a senior recruiter, career mentor, blogger and resume consultant based in the Seattle area.
Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.
Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
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