A new study in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior reveals that men feel 40 percent less guilt when their home life is interrupted by electronic devices like Blackberries and iPhones.
Researchers surveyed over 1,000 members of the workforce—with genders evenly distributed—and although both men and women felt higher levels of guilt if they had young children, women still reported feeling guiltier, even when they felt like they were in control of both work and home life.
According to study author Paul Glavin:
Initially, we thought women were more distressed by frequent work contact because it interfered with their family responsibilities more so than men. However, this wasn’t the case. We found that women are able to juggle their work and family lives just as well as men, but they feel more guilty as a result of being contacted. This guilt seems to be at the heart of their distress.
The researchers note that while men have taken on more responsibility at home, women still continue to be the perceived “primary source of child care in the family,” which could account for the discrepancy. “There’s still some way to go before we see equality of expectations in work and in family,” says Glavin.
As psychologist Leslie Connor explains it:
More women of my generation had stay-at-home moms … Your role model met you at the bus stop, had dinner on the table. It adds to the guilt if you think, I’m not doing for my children what my mother did for me.