There are quite a fewtheories about labor division that have also been associated with relationshipsatisfaction. In the following, four of them are described: Doing gender,economic theories, negotiation theory and zero-sum game theory.The first theory ‘doing gender’ points out theimportance of gender roles on heterosexual relationships. Due to gender roles, specifictasks possess gendered connotations, simply because one gender traditionallydoes them.
For instance, women usually take care of the housework, includingcooking, cleaning and doing the laundry (Gupta, 1999). These tasks are then seen as feminine tasks,therefore, not taking part in them has masculine connotations (Dechant et al., 2014).
On the other hand, intermittent work such as repairsaround the house and auto maintenance are seen as masculine tasks (Gupta, 1999), making them unappealing for women (Barstad, 2014). Kornrich et al. (2013) argued that performing tasks that do not fit theman’s role leads to a decrease in sexual satisfaction and frequency due toemasculation. According to a recent longitudinal study using the pairfam data,this belief cannot be verified since men who contributed their fair share tohousework reported higher sexual satisfaction and frequency (Johnson et al., 2016). (Dechant, Rost, , 2014; Schulz, 2010)Gender roles are beingproduced and reproduced in heterosexual relationships (West & Zimmerman, 1987). One can expect that people who possess rathertraditional ideas about relationships and families will adhere to gender roles,hence reproducing gender roles.
But it has been proposed that people whopossess egalitarian views may not hold on to gender-based roles but try todistribute housework in a fair manner, considering each other’s occupation andproducing own roles in their relationship (Barstad, 2014). If the division of labor fits to a person’s view ongender roles – to rather comply to or reject them – a higher relationship satisfactionand higher perceived fairness is reported than if there is no fit (see Trappe & Köppen, 2014). Ergo, gender roles and a person’s opinion on themaffect labor division and relationship satisfaction, making it a confounder.