Commuting is Harder on Women
Your daily commute got you down? According to a new British study, you’re not alone.
The study, published in the Journal of Health Economics, found that women’s psychological health is negatively affected by daily commuting. Men, on the other hand, do not generally feel the same adverse affects of
This is despite the fact that women on average work fewer hours and spend less time on the road than their male counterparts. So what gives? Lead author Jennifer Roberts suggests that this gender-specific mental toll is due to the fact that women generally spend more time on housework, childcare and other household duties than men.
It’s a phenomenon sociologist Arlie Hochschild terms “the Second Shift” — keeping home and caring for children is still primarily women’s work, even though more and more women are joining men in careers outside the home.
Indeed, the duties of the “Second Shift” have an impact on commuting, because women are more likely than men to combine the drive home from the office with household tasks like grocery shopping or picking the kids up from school.
So, what are stressed-out women to do? Unsurprisingly, the study suggests that women may feel a decrease in commute-induced stressed as their status in the workplace improves and men take on a more equal role in household tasks.
So, the next time the kids need to be dropped off at daycare or you’ve run out of toilet paper, ask that special man in your life to do it. Your mental health is at stake!