American women gaining control in family decision making

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Washington, Sept 26 : Women are not confined to kitchen anymore as they are gaining ground in family decision making, according to a new US survey.

The survey conducted by Pew Research Centre has shown that 21st century American couples have been sharing decision-making in many aspects of family life, with 43 percent admitting that women had the most to say.

"I think the big story over time is the rise in shared decision making," Washington Post quoted Andrew Cherlin, a professor of sociology and public policy at Johns Hopkins University, as saying.

"It's not the same as the '50s and '60s, where 'father knew best,' " he added.

In the poll conducted over 1,260 people who were married or living together as a couple, in 43 percent of couples, women had the most to say in decision making in finances, weekend activities, television choices and big-ticket purchases.

The decision-making was divided equally among 31 percent of couples, and men took the lead in 26 percent of couples.

Cherlin said that he was impressed that so many people who were polled said that their household decisions were jointly made, even though they were not given that choice as an answer to the poll's questions. They volunteered it.

"I'm struck by the fact that, overall, 31 percent of the people said the decision was shared, even though that option was not read to them," he said.

"Clearly, there is more sharing than there used to be. There is more variation in who makes the decisions and less of a sense that the home is the man's castle," he added.

The survey also revealed that among men, 37 percent said they controlled finances, with 30 percent saying their partner did and 28 percent saying finances were handled jointly.

"I think that's a big change from 50 years ago," Cherlin said. Back then, he said, "some wives didn't even know what their husbands were making."

Less surprising, he said, was that women took charge of weekend activities and major household purchases, many of which he said are related to home life.

ANI

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