Fairness Perception

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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Category: Culture
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“Fairness is a consequence of equal ratios of input and output of both partners (Braun, Epstein, Stier, & Baumgartner, 2008). Usually these inputs are represented by the time spent used in the market/income activities, and the outputs are usually represented by earned income. Its commonly known that in every person, there is a desire to be treated fairly and equitably. This is especially true in marriages. There is a need for an equalitarian system to be set in place. Though this is an urgent need, the perception of this equality differs from person to person, and relationship to relationship.

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The determination of fairness in these relationships is a subjective process based on comparisons to societal norms (Van den Bos, Wilke, Lind, & Vermunt 1998). This meaning, the data that is collected during the time is based off of the norms for society in that time. Societal norms are always changing. Marriages from previous years may have been perceived fair then, but may not be perceived fair now based on today’s societal norms. In many countries, traditional housework is deemed as a women’s job. To these women, it may be fair for them to do all the housework while the husband is making the household income. What is perceived fair is also based off one’s experiences and preferences.

Meaning, because no two minds are alike, and everyone experiences and interrupts things differently, what is perceived fair for one relationship, isn’t likely going to be perceived fair in another relationship (Thibaut & Kelley, 1959). These likelihoods are also known to cause sexual dysfunction in a relationship as well. If a woman feels as though she has to pick up her partners slack when it comes to keeping the house, this will cause frustration and resentment. There is less likely to be a sexual encounter. This can cause a lack of intimacy in the relationship causing the couple to split apart (Johnson & Galambs, 2015).

Although there are huge imbalances in the division of housework between male and female in marriages, studies have found that on the side of women, perceptions of equity are more frequent than feelings of unjust (Braun, Epstein, Stier, & Baumgartner, 2008).

According to (Braun, Lewin-Epstein, Stier, & Baumgartner 2008), there are three main propositions that account for the actual inequality of the division of household labor. The time availability hypothesis, the resource dependency theory, and the gender ideology. The time availability hypothesis states that spouses who pour more time in market/income job work reduce their participation in house work. The resource dependency theory focuses on the spouse’s relative power which stems from their income and education. The thought behind this is that the individuals who contribute less to house hold income should take care of the largest share of housework. The gender ideology states that women who live by a nontraditional gender ideology will try to reach a more equal division of household labor.

Previous studies taken from (Baxter, 2002) measured the male contribution to core household tasks. Participants were asked “to what extent do you and your partner share duties in the following domains?” These domains included housework (i.e washing, cooking, cleaning, shopping). Responses ranges 1-5. 1= almost completely female partners, 2= mostly female partner, 3= split 50/50, 4= mostly male partner, and 5= almost completely male partner. The scores reflected a greater proportion of housework was performed by the male partners. Another question asked was “Looking at both house work and paid work, how fair is the division of labor between you and your partner?” This question was asked to assess male partners perceptions of fairness regarding their contributions to household labor.

Responses were also from 1-5. 1= I do much more than my fair share, 2= I do a bit more than my fair share, 3= I do about my fair share, 4= I do a bit less than my fair share, 5= I do much less than my fair share. These answers were mostly answered within three categories. These categories included, I do more, I’m doing about, or I’m doing less than my fair share. It showed that few male partners reported doing more than their fair share. Although these results are able to give us valuable information on perceived fairness in relationships, these questions were mostly asked to the male partners. This causes a bias in the answers. It’s likely that these males gave themselves a lot more credit than what is actually due.

My study is going to take all this into account and finally compare the results to what has been found fair in older couples. Seven percent of those born from 1946 to 1980 believe that men and women should be unequal when it comes to work (Miller, 2015). These results compared to the results found in millenniums differ, although they don’t differ on a big scale. It only shows that although women are receiving equality in the work force, their work load in the house is still not very equal.

Another thing to take into account is that it does differ from marriage to marriage. It also depends on what each marriage even perceives as fair. Many factors go into measuring the perception of fairness. I plan on using all of this to find out what is perceived fair in both millennials and older marriages to identify what would cause for equality in household labor.”

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Fairness Perception. (2021, Oct 15). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/fairness-perception/