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Keywords:

  • gender relations;
  • household labor

According to the gender-deviance neutralization hypothesis, men and women in household circumstances that contradict the normal expectations of gender display their gender accordingly, by either increasing or decreasing their contribution to household tasks. In this article, I review and reassess the large-scale quantitative evidence, concluding that considerable doubt has subsequently been cast on this hypothesis. For women, research shows that the original identification of gender-deviance neutralization behavior was questionable, as it failed to take into account women's absolute levels of income. For men, both more recent quantitative and indicative qualitative research suggests that such behavior was always limited to a very small group. Subsequent changes in the contributions to housework of men from lower socioeconomic groups suggest that such display may no longer be evident.