‘It’s a Man’s Job’: Doing Gender and Male Gatekeeping in the Division of Household Labor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Changes to domestic divisions of labor have been widely documented, but some tasks seem particularly resistant to change. Using the lens of ‘doing gender’, this article draws on interviews with 25 heterosexual working parent British couples who produced a ‘household portrait’ of their division of labor. It examines how they explain men’s continuing responsibility for ‘man-typed’ domestic tasks and why this is so resistant to change. Although men’s ‘gatekeeping’ of these tasks is consequential for the overall household division of labor, there is relatively little opposition from their women partners. This gatekeeping reproduces gendered meanings of ‘man-typed’ tasks and enables both men and women to ‘do gender’ while supporting their image of a ‘sharing’ couple
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Early online date23 Jan 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Copyright © The Author(s) 2024. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/], which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • ‘doing gender’
  • femininity
  • gatekeeping
  • gender
  • household labor
  • household portait
  • masculinity
  • 'man-typed' tasks


Dive into the research topics of '‘It’s a Man’s Job’: Doing Gender and Male Gatekeeping in the Division of Household Labor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this