Lozano, M., & Garcia-Roman, J. (2022). The division of housework and re-partnering in Europe: Is there a West/East divide? Family Relations, 71( 4), 1762– 1784. https://doi.org/10.1111/fare.12715


This paper explores if re-partnering leads to less traditional divisions of domestic work by comparing men and women in different European countries.


Divorce and re-partnering have become more common, and we question if they are opening the scope for more gender-balanced arrangements at home and new theoretical approaches.


Using the two available waves of the Gender and Generation Survey for Western (France, Germany, and Austria) and Eastern European countries (Bulgaria, Lithuania, and the Czech Republic) for dual-earner couples, we ran a series of logistic regressions to measure the probability of having traditional divisions of housework.


We found less traditional arrangements among re-partnered individuals, although we observed different patterns in each country. Respondents in Western Europe were less likely to have traditional divisions after separation than those who never experienced a breakup, suggesting that men’s and women’s successive unions differ from the previous ones in terms of housework sharing. However, in Eastern Europe, this association was only significant for men and not for women.


We provided empirical support for a less traditional division of housework among re-partnered individuals, but the West/East divide was only observed among females.


Our results support the three classic theories that attempted to explain the division of housework between men and women. Nonetheless, they also suggest that among re-partnered couples, we can consider the additional hypothesis of adaptative strategy, especially among men. This has implications for gender equality and family theories, as it opens the door to consider new theoretical perspectives to explain gender dynamics after union dissolution.