Housework, in particular related to food preparation, has received little attention. Tasks are performed in line with gender stereotypes which are culturally specific and change with time. A comparison has been made between the domestic tasks and behaviours and attitudes related to food in young people in Japan and England. Gender stereotyping was apparent in both countries to a remarkable and fairly similar degree (very few children thought that men should have responsibility for tasks related to food) although many aspects were different; English children were more involved in preparing food and fewer Japanese children claimed to like cooking. Fewer Japanese boys (almost half) than English boys (14%) helped to clear up after meals. Almost all Japanese children ate sitting at a table compared with about 75% of English children for whom it was more common to have to be careful to keep their mouths closed when eating. Japanese culture however, does seem to be becoming more Westernized. Even ‘liberated women’ and ‘new age men’ may acquiesce to a degree of stereotyping in order to ensure that their children are ‘normal’. Curiously, the high media attention given to food and food preparation does not seem to be resulting in increased involvement in cooking by young people. This lack of involvement by young people in food preparation may have consequences for nutritional skills and so compromise health in later life.
|Journal||Journal of Consumer Studies & Home Economics|
|Publication status||Published - 2000|