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article imageStudy Says Women in Charge at Home, And I Wouldn't Argue About It

By Chris Hogg     Jul 12, 2007 in Lifestyle
According to a study by Iowa State University (ISU), women have more power than their husbands when it comes to taking control in discussions and making decisions. Men might "wear the pants" but women are the ones who tell them which pair to put on.
Digital Journal -- The new study goes against previous research, showing men might be the ones who puff up their chests at work, but at home, women are the ones in charge.
"The study at least suggests that the marriage is a place where women can exert some power," lead author David Vogel, a psychologist at Iowa State University (ISU), told LiveScience. "Whether or not it's because of changing societal roles, we don't know.”
Vogel and his team looked at 72 married couples, each averaging 33 years of age and having been married for about seven years. Two-thirds of the participants were Caucasian, 22 per cent Asian, 5 per cent Hispanic and 4 per cent African American. The remaining 3 per cent were classed as "other."
Vogel says his study ran counter to what is typically believed about the relationship at home. He says traditional beliefs about men include them making more money in the work place, therefore being the key decision-maker at home. However, that is not the case according to Vogel.
And before all the men out there say "It's only because she talks more," researchers have already said this is not the case.
“It wasn’t just that the women were bringing up issues that weren’t being responded to, but that the men were actually going along with what they said,” ISU researcher and professor, Megan Murphy, said in a news release. “They were communicating more powerful messages, and men were responding to those messages by agreeing or giving in.”
During testing, men and women were asked questions about relationship satisfaction and decision making, while researchers video taped the conversations and coded them into a rating system.
"We actually just asked them to start talking about the issue, and then we left the room," said Vogel. "And so they were all by themselves in the room talking. We were as non-obtrusive as possible. We just came back at the end of the period of time, and asked them to talk about the other topic."
Interestingly, money and sex were obvious topics of discussion between spouses, but sex didn't pop up as a marital issue.
Researchers say wives are more demanding, often asking for the male to change in the relationship. Vogel says one reason why wives take charge is likely because they carry the responsibility of making sure the family runs smoothly.
Why? Well, Murphy said: "Women are responsible for overseeing the relationship, making sure the relationship runs, that everything gets done, and that everybody's happy." (Most men will not argue with the fact that women tend to want to get things done)
Vogel says research shows men who allow more input and influence from their wives have healthier marriages.
Makes sense. Hence the art of saying "Yes, dear."
The study, published in a recent issue of Journal of Counseling Psychology, was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the ISU.
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