Women have many different roles in society. These roles have been drastically changed from women being homemakers to women taking on jobs extra schooling, and still managing the majority of caring for their families. Research shows that this can be extremely stressful on a woman.
In the 1950’s most women stayed at home and took care of their families. Only about 18.4 million women were working outside the home. In 1950 women made up 29.6% of the work force. In the 1970’s more women started to work. This was the start of the first dual career families, at that time 39% of the work force were women. As of 2001 66 million women are working and make up 46% of the labor force: 73% are women with children younger than 18, 78% have children 6-17 years old, 64.4% have children younger than six years old. In 2000 maintained 12.8 million families representing 17.8% of all families, compared to the 1970’s 5.6 million representing 10.8% of all families at that time. In 2000 78% of women who maintained families were employed.
As women added more roles they acquired more work. In families without children both men and women worked about 60 hours per week. As soon as a child is introduced into the family the total workload increases rapidly for women. In a family with three or more children women typically spend 90 hours a week in paid and unpaid labor while men only spend 60 hours. Women’s stress is determined by the interaction of conditions at home and at work, whereas men respond selectively to situations. Women can’t look forward to relaxing in the evening or weekends, either. Women have a harder time unwinding physiologically once they are home.
Another stressful factor is women not being able to take care of their children how they would like to. In a family values survey over a two-year period, the polls showed a twenty-point rise in the number of people who felt that were not spending enough time with their children. Diar