Family Survey: Wives get stronger, husbands weaker

Jun. 11, 2018
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Overall say in the family: “Husband” 72.4% in 1988->38.7% in 2018, “Wife” 10.1% in 1988->30.3% in 2018

Hakuhodo Institute of Life and Living has conducted its Family Survey of couples in households where the husband is a salaried employee every ten years since 1988 (1988, 1998, 2008, 2018).

In the last 30 years, the environment facing families and married couples in Japan has changed significantly as a result of various phenomena, including the declining birthrate and aging population, women marrying and giving birth later in life, and dual-income households.

How has this changed perceptions about families and spouses and who does the housework and child care? Entitled Spousal Power Relationships, this report is the first in a series focusing on key survey findings and shines a spotlight on changes to the power balance in the home and perceptions of the ideal couple image.

The survey is part of Hakuhodo Institute of Life and Living’s The Family: Thirty Years of Change study. These and other research findings will be presented at events and in reports as Summer Seminar 2018 The Family: Thirty Years of Change.

Key points of The Family: Thirty Years of Change

Overall say in the family
Husbands lowest, wives highest ever scores; closest scores ever

Say in family matters
Say in work, number of kids, living with parents shifts sharply to wives

Ideal couple image and reality
“Married to best friend” tops in ideal and reality. “Husband rules the roost” becoming endangered?

Spousal dependence (2018 survey only)
“Couldn’t live without my spouse” higher for husbands than wives

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