Chapter 10: Contemporary Marriage: Still an Unequal Partnership
Janice M. Steil
Contemporary marriage: Still an unequal partnership Change and Resistance to Change 125 Changing Demographics, Changing Attitudes 125 Unchanging Asymmetries 126 The Paradox of the Contented Wife 127 Relationship Equality 128 The Social Scientists’ Perspective 128 Why Can't a Marriage Based on Separate Gender Roles Be Equal? 128 What Does Relationship Equality Mean to Couples Themselves? 130 Equality in Our Own Relationships versus Equality in the Relationships of Others 131 Explanations of Inequality 132 Time Availability 132 Conscious Choice or Unconscious Identity? 133 Justice Theory 133 Additional Gender and Identity Constraints 134 Conclusion 136 Over the past quarter century, the increased participation of married women in the paid labor force led to expectations, for many, of greater relationship equality. Indeed, egalitarian marriages are endorsed by increasing numbers of the population, and egalitarian relationships have been associated with a number of positive outcomes for both partners including increased intimacy, greater relationship satisfaction, ...