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On the future…
Conventional wisdom would hold that it’s mainly women who fret about the future with their boyfriends and husbands, but our respondents generally reported equality on this question, too, and many of our DINKs simply didn’t worry too much about the future.
“It’s worked for seven years without either of us worrying about the future,” one man told us. “We basically never have those conversations,” another couple said, and another admitted, “… our ‘future path’ discussions usually revolved around who is doing what the following weekend and whose turn it is to buy lotto tickets.” “After six years together, we have a pretty solid idea of what we do and don’t want,” one woman said.
So what can this study definitely tell us about DINKs and gender roles? Perhaps nothing we didn’t already know: DINKs, by and large, don’t stick to any specific formula for how to live their lives. Many of our respondents were quick to mention their personal distaste for socially prescribed gender roles, too. “Our relationship is very equal, and no gender excuse is ever appropriate,” one woman responded.
Another woman told us, “While it may seem to many that we live our lives by gender roles, we are in ourselves quite the opposite. I am quite masculine in temperament, while he is more caring and tender than I.” And finally, another put it quite succinctly, “We roll how we roll.”
While it’s impossible to draw definite conclusions about the correlation between level of education and distribution of chores, we do think it is telling that our respondent DINKs indicated high levels of educational equality and equal distribution of household duties. Even if the marketplace hasn’t quite caught up in paying women and men equally all the time, our respondents largely played by their own rules and disregarded gender norms in their relationships. Remember when we earlier noted the correlation between women’s education and gender parity? Well, it’s probably not too much of a stretch to assume that the better educated a woman is the more equal she will be in her relationship with her partner.
The overall message of the couples we surveyed is clear - we DINKs are two strong individuals who each make our own decisions based on our personal preferences as a couple, rather than to oblige with dated social norms. As representatives of today’s modern couple, we define our roles just as we please.
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