Back in 1965, women pushed heavy vacuum cleaners and mops; they prepared food, cooked and cleaned up afterwards. Additionally, all the laundry, childcare and most of the household chores were done by women.
Now, women expend less energy and use screen-based media (e.g., television) more, according to the findings from this longitudinal study.
These experts imply women in the last five decades do less of the household chores, which in turn causes poor health consequences such as obesity and weight gain.
While the empirical findings are considered facts and cannot be disputed, there may be more to it than women sitting around watching soap operas and reality shows all day long.
There is no argument about the relationship between socioenvironmental factors and obesity. Numerous studies have shown sedentary lifestyles contribute to weight gain and obesity, along with unhealthy food choices.
The defensive argument is 'why' women are choosing screen-based media over household chores more now than they did in the past. Instead of assuming they are lazier, other reasons such as the past 'socioeconomically disadvantage' and cultural factors related to the civil rights of women can be explored.
One theory could be women have more of an active voice when it comes to decision-making in the home. The women's movement in the last five decades assisted in giving women this voice. Women need to be educated to make an informed decision. It is obvious screen-based media gives women the information they need to be well-informed to keep up on current issues.
In other words, watching television and using the computer (screen-based media) gives women knowledge. This knowledge levels the playing field in making decisions within the home environment.
Work at Home Moms (WAHM)
Another possible theory is that many women are choosing to work from home. The occupations are not always considered jobs, therfore the study may have omitted the work status in the study's design. Women who choose to work from home usually have small children to care for in addition to the duties of the job. In this event, the household chores would not be prioritized, resulting in less energy expended on the cooking and cleaning. It should be noted modern cleaning items are less bulky and easier to use, also.
So, while the study implies the unemployed women are more sedentary, which may contribute to obesity, it does not take into account all the possible factors of 'why.' The shallow comparison between the women from 1965 and the modern women cannot be limited to a sedentary understanding.
People (and researchers) need to 'think' before assuming modern women are lazy.