When respondents in a Pew Research survey were asked to evaluate a battery of traits that make for a good wife or female partner, being good at household chores was ranked at the bottom of a list of desirable attributes. Only 28% deemed facility with brooms, mops, irons or cooking pots a “very important” quality, actually slightly fewer than the number (32%) who deemed such ability very important in a husband or male partner. As in the case of husbands, the overwhelmingly number (90%) rated being a good mother as very important with an equal number saying the same about being caring and compassionate. Third in line, at 74%, was putting one’s family before anything else. Interestingly, significantly more among the public (82%) saw this as a very important trait in a husband or male partner. Only about half (48%) saw being a good sexual partner as a very important quality for a good wife, exactly the same percentage that rated this as an important quality for a good husband. But significantly less is expected of Mom when it comes to financial contributions. About four-in-ten adults (41%) think that providing a good income is a very important quality for a good husband or partner, compared with less than half that share (19%) who think this quality is very important in a good wife. Men and women largely agree on the most important qualities in a spouse/partner, be it male or female. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.