Gender stereotype holds true: Mothers do most of the shopping

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Mothers are the likeliest group of all to do the household grocery shop
Mothers are the likeliest group of all to do the household grocery shop
In the wake of Mother’s Day last weekend, it is worth reflecting on research that has confirmed how many more women than men buy their household’s groceries, with mothers the most likely of all to do so.

Overall, 62% of Australians who usually do the grocery shopping are women and 38% are men. 

Already, the gender imbalance is quite striking, but it becomes even more apparent among households with kids: no less than 91% of Australian women who live with their partner and at least one child usually buy the groceries—a figure that drops to just 44% when it comes to men living in the same household arrangement.

Even in single-parent households, single mums (97%) are more likely than single dads (85%) to buy the groceries.

Even households where there are no children, the proportion of women who usually buy the groceries (90%) is also much higher than men (53%), although the difference is not as great as in nuclear families.

In fact, the only household situation in which men and women are equally as likely to do the grocery shopping is when they live alone (99% each).

Despite men accounting for half the population, they still don’t account for half of ‘usual’ grocery-buyers. However, the proportion of men who say they usually buy the groceries has grown slightly since 2010, when the overall male:female ratio was 35:65​,” said Angela Smith of Roy Morgan Research, which compiled the study.

Among different kinds of household living arrangements, women are almost always more likely than men to be the usual grocery-buyer, a gender skew that is strongest in traditional nuclear family units​.”

However, there are still many Australian who share grocery duties. Among those who live with their partner and kids, 19% of women and 32% combine their talents, while 27% of women and 43% of men who live with their partner in childless households do the same. 

The fact remains, though, that women—and mothers especially—shoulder most of the grocery-buying responsibility​,” added Smith.

The stereotype of mothers being responsible for running the family household appears to be alive and well, at least where grocery-shopping is concerned​.”

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