Gender Differences in Restricting Work Efforts Because of Family Responsibilities


Department of Sociology, ML 378, 301 Clifton Court, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0378 (


In egalitarian families, we might expect that men and women similarly prioritize work and family obligations. Yet, prior research examining gender differences in work-family priorities often use measures that imperfectly reflect those priorities. Drawing two samples of full-time married workers from the 1992 National Study of the Changing Workforce, this article analyzed the determinants of placing restrictions on work efforts (reducing work hours, refusing to travel, etc.) for the sake of family life. Results showed that women imposed more job trade-offs in response to husband’s work efforts, whereas men’s work restrictions were largely unresponsive to familial characteristics. In conclusion, prioritizing work and family obligations is governed more by gender traditionalism than by egalitarianism.