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Traditional Division of labor between Sexes: Women in Kitchen, Men in Yard?

The survey found that 82 percent of Americans said that women should be responsible for a child’s physical needs

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A new study finds most Americans still believe in a traditional division of labor between the sexes. (Photo by Nathan Rupert via Creative Commons license). Image source: VOA
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Sept 04, 2016: The United States could elect its first woman president in November, but most Americans still believe in the traditional division of household jobs, according to a new study.

The study, which surveyed 1,000 adults, was released at this month’s meeting of the American Sociological Association in Seattle, Washington.

Three in four adults believe that in a couple with a man and a woman, the woman should do most housework, the study found. That includes cooking, the laundry, and cleaning the house.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton during United States presidential election. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton during United States presidential election. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Nearly 90 percent believe that the man should do the automobile repairs and outdoor work.

The survey found that 82 percent of Americans said that women should be responsible for a child’s physical needs. Seventy-two percent said woman should also take care of a child’s emotional needs.

Discipline is an exception

The exception, in the question of childcare, is discipline. Fifty-five percent said men should deal with discipline of children.

And if a couple decides a parent is needed at home to take care of children, 62 percent said it should be the woman, not the man, who stays home.

“Sex was by far the strongest determinant of which tasks people assigned to each spouse in heterosexual couples,” said Natasha Quadlin, lead author of the study, who is a doctoral student in sociology at Indiana University.

Working with her on the study was Long Doan, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Maryland.

Survey released before presidential election

The study’s release comes less than three months before Americans vote for a new a president — choosing between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump. If Clinton wins, she would be America’s first woman president.

For same-sex couples, the study found most Americans believe the decisions about who does what should be decided by which partner is most feminine and which is more masculine.

Sixty percent of Americans said the most feminine partners should cook and buy the food. Sixty-seven percent said that the more masculine partners should handle car repairs and do outdoor work.

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Old stereotypes

Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women, is surprised that a majority of Americans support divisions of work based on old stereotypes.

Old stereotypes about what women do better and what men do better do not make sense for many couples, O’Neill said.

For example, O’Neill said she could fix the family car far better than her ex-husband. But she said her former husband was very good at comforting their daughter. She said he also was able to get her to appointments on time, despite the stereotype that men do not do those tasks very well.

In O’Neill’s opinion, too many couples let one partner, often the man, make decisions about who does the work. What should happen is a “sharing of power, and sharing of decisions,” with negotiations to decide who does what and when, she said.

It does not seem to matter that many women are working as hard if not harder and earning as much, if not more, than their husbands, said Natasha Quadlin.

“Even if women have higher earnings than their husbands they are expected to come home and perform a second shift of chores and childcare,” she said.

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However, men may pay a price for taking on the outside work responsibilities by themselves.

Another study found that men’s psychological well-being and health declined when they were their families’ only member earning an income. Researchers from the University of Connecticut carried out that study, which also was presented at the American Sociological Association meeting. (VOA)

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions Steps Down As Asked By Donald Trump

It remains to be seen whether Trump will tap Whitaker for the job permanently and send his name to the Senate for confirmation.

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U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions attends a news conference on the arrest of a suspect in the sending of at least a dozen parcel bombs to Democratic politicians and high-profile critics of President Trump. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump forced his controversial Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign Wednesday, setting up a possible showdown with newly energized congressional Democrats over the investigation of Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election.

Sessions, in a resignation letter to Trump, wrote that he was stepping down at “your request,” accepting a fait accompli he’d long sought to avert despite Trump’s repeated public humiliations of the attorney general over his recusal from oversight of the Russia probe.

The forced departure of Sessions, a former Republican senator and early supporter of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, capped a turbulent tenure that hit a rough patch in early 2017 when he stepped aside from the Russia investigation shortly after taking office.

Trump blamed Sessions’ recusal for the speedy appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller and, over the course of the attorney general’s 20-month tenure, repeatedly castigated Sessions for failing to rein in what he called a “witch hunt” being led by Mueller and “17 Angry Democrats.”

While undertaking a wholesale repeal of Obama-era policies and implementing Trump’s tough-on-crime and immigration agenda, Sessions was increasingly shunned by the president, to the point that Trump told an interviewer earlier this year, “I don’t have an attorney general.”

In a pair of tweets Wednesday afternoon announcing Sessions’ resignation, Trump thanked the attorney general for his service and said Matt Whitaker, Sessions’ chief of staff and a former U.S. attorney under former President George W. Bush, would take over as acting attorney general. A permanent replacement would be announced later, Trump said.

Though long expected, Sessions’ departure fueled Democratic fears that Trump may be maneuvering to assert control over the Mueller investigation through a trusted appointee or possibly shut down it all together.

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U.S. President Donald Trump acknowledges supporters as he arrives for a campaign rally at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana. VOA

Congressional probe urged

Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the top Democrat on the House oversight committee and a frequent Trump critic, urged Congress to investigate “the real reason” for the attorney general’s “termination.”

At a testy White House news conference earlier Wednesday, Trump said he could end the Mueller investigation “right now,” but “I stay away from it … I let it just go on.”

Other Democratic congressional leaders, including House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Senate Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Mark Warner issued nearly identical tweets urging Whitaker to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, citing his vocal criticism of the probe.

 

“Given his previous comments advocating defunding and imposing limitations on the Mueller investigation, Mr. Whitaker should recuse himself from its oversight for the duration of his time as acting attorney general,” Schumer tweeted.

 

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Then-Iowa Republican senatorial candidate and former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker is pictured before a televised debate in Johnston, Iowa. VOA

 

Whitaker served as U.S. attorney for the southern district of Iowa from 2004 to 2009. According to his LinkedIn profile, he headed Foundations for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), a self-described ethics watchdog, until September 2017, shortly before joining the Justice Department.

In an opinion piece for CNN.com in July 2017, two months after Mueller’s appointment, Whitaker wrote that he agreed with Trump that investigating the president’s finances fell outside Mueller’s mandate, and he urged Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to limit the special counsel’s authority.

‘In charge of all matters’

Asked whether Whitaker would take control of the Russia probe, Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said, “The acting attorney general is in charge of all matters under the purview of the Department of Justice.”

Flores did not directly answer questions about whether Whitaker had consulted or planned to consult Justice Department ethics experts on whether he should recuse himself from the Russia probe.

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Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., departs Capitol Hill, Oct. 6, 2018, in Washington. VOA

“We’re following regular order here,” she wrote via email.

John Malcolm, a former federal prosecutor now with the Heritage Foundation, a conservative research group, said he saw no reason for Whitaker to step aside.

“He is the acting attorney general. He has no reason to recuse himself,” Malcolm told VOA.

Malcolm said Sessions did “a solid job of implementing the president’s law enforcement priorities,” and he praised the attorney general for “protecting the integrity of the department and trying to keep it above politics.”

It remains to be seen whether Trump will tap Whitaker for the job permanently and send his name to the Senate for confirmation.

Also Read: U.S. Midterm Elections See Muslim American Women Making History

Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and close Trump ally, tweeted that he looked “forward to working with President Trump to find a confirmable, worthy successor. (VOA)