Topline Trends Tuesday: Men still avoiding aprons


According to this recent Toronto Star article, in the last census, nearly 25% of Canadian women spent 30 hours or more taking care of the home in 2006, compared to 7.7% of men. This US report shows that the trend is the same in that country, too.

What’s interesting for me as a trend tracker is that, while many young men tell me they love food TV shows and want to know how to become chefs like Jamie Oliver and Anthony Bourdain, it’s this same group who do the fewest household chores. In fact, according the US report linked above, teenage boys and young males performed the fewest hours of household work – 8.9 hours per week, compared with 15.9 for young women.

While “chores” aren’t broken down between cooking and cleaning, I have a feeling that this old ad isn’t as quaint as I’d like to think.

What do you think prevents more men from being involved in daily food preparation? Are women too ready to jump in and make a meal or do we make them feel unwelcome in the kitchen?


10 Responses to Topline Trends Tuesday: Men still avoiding aprons

  1. Daniel says:

    That Toronto Star article was really interesting on a few levels. I thought the key quote was buried in the bottom half of the story:

    “I think his argument may be that he tried to contribute and I shut him down because it wasn’t done right or when I wanted it to be.”

    Yeah, I’d consider that pretty demotivating too.

    I feel like you have to divvy up tasks that match up with your skills and capabilities. And you have to dole out some compliments and encouragement if you want your partner to help out.

    Casual Kitchen

    • Beth says:

      I agree. I know that my husband was totally willing to help with laundry but I hated the way he folded so I told him to stop.

      And, he would hate it if I tried to paint a wall since he’s a fantastic painter and I’m a hack.

  2. danamccauley says:

    Beth, that’s so funny – the situation is the same at my house!

    The stat that worries me most (as the mom of an almost teenaged boy) is that young men are doing so little around the house. I really don’t want my son to leave home completely unequipped for life.

  3. John says:

    My wife and I certainly don’t share everything kitchen-related equally. We share ALL duties pretty equally regarding our twins (boy/girl), and plan to teach them both how to make their way around a kitchen when they’re old enough, but when it comes to meals, I’m in charge of breakfast on weekends only, and she looks after supper. She’s home first through the week, and wants to get the twins fed asap in the evening, so I can’t compete with that…but there’s something to be said for wanting things done a certain way. The kitchen is my space in the mornings, and hers anytime after that.

  4. Sally says:

    Strangely when growing up, my parents, who had me when they were 43 and 57 respectively, shared the load. However, it was my dad that was the cook! He retired early from construction and carried what would then have been the female share of the load. When I married, I don’t think I would have even considered a man who was not prepared to share. In fact, as it turns out, he is the better cook and helps with dinner all the time!
    Guess I am one of the lucky ones. Maybe it’s ’cause we did not have kids ?

  5. cheryl says:

    Well, my husband is a actually a very good cook, but once I went into food as a career I pretty much took over the kitchen. Happily, he does all the dishes. As in ALL the dishes (

    As for my boys, they’ve got to make their beds, put away their laundry, unload the dishwasher, and generally keep their play spaces clean. I do this mostly because I want the help, but I also believe it will serve them (and their future spouses) very well later in life.

  6. I would kill to have my Hubby in the ktichen more. He isn’t an idiot when it comes to cooking, but he isn’t a natural. He can’t look in the cupboard and figure out something to make. Rather, he needs to know what he wants to make and heaven help us if those ingredients aren’t in the house. Because, of course, he starts cooking right when we should be eating.

    Funny, he is pretty self-sufficient but he sure doesn’t mind taking a backseat in the kitchen!

  7. lyndsay says:

    goodness gracious!! that ad is insane. in our household, i tend to cook more often because my husband is TOO SLOW. he spends too long julienne-ing peppers, dicing etc… i am much faster, therefore, i cook because i get too hungry waiting for him to cook!!

    i do think the major infiltration of foodie/food networkness in our lives has helped entice men into cooking it up more.

  8. Sharon Haslam says:

    I have the chef background and cook 90% of the meals for our group of 6. My husband’s not home early enough to prep or help cook–he BBQs on weekends. He can’t seem to retain any hints or instruction I give–I still get a steak that has 3 slices in it to see if it’s done?? Just not his forte!
    Along with our young teenage boys, he clean toilets, does laundry, dishwasher, dust, sweep and anything else I need them to do–we both grew up helping our parents and we insist they do the same. Come to think of it–I don’t think my dad was even allowed in the kitchen??

  9. Heather says:

    My husband helps out in the kitchen, but only with simple things, he never really had the oportunity to learn to cook before he met me. We took what we thought was a learn to cook class while we were engaged, but the class was more like a comunity kitchen, and he learned very little…the more he learns the more confident he is helping me.

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