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EPILOGUE: Negotiating at Home - Pg. 180

EPILOGUE Negotiating at Home F or much of this book, we've talked about negotiating in terms of the workplace--how women can get to do the work they want to do, see that their work is fairly evaluated, make sure they're paid what they're worth, and proceed as high into the upper levels of their profes- sions as their talent and ambition will take them. We've focused on workplace negotiations not because they're inherently more important than negotiations in other realms, but because most of the existing re- search about negotiation looks at workplace situations. We just don't know very much about how the factors that constrain women from negotiating for themselves play out in the private sphere. We know that the gender gap in asking widens in ambiguous situations without clear guidelines, 1 and ideas about proper male and female roles have changed enough in recent years to suggest that many private situations now lack clear guidelines for behavior and feel more ambiguous to women. We do have plenty of evidence, however, that learning to negotiate more in their private lives, particularly with their spouses or partners, may improve women's lives and their health. Numerous studies, for example, have shown that women do far more housework than men, take more responsibility for caring for their children, and have far less leisure time than their spouses. 2 This is true whether they work full- time, part-time, or work entirely in the home. Virginia Valian reports: "Almost all employed women in heterosexual relationships live in households where the division of labor is grossly and visibly inequita- ble. . . . The imbalance exists among all groups of women who live with men, including professional women. Married women who work for pay average about thirty-three hours of housework per week--about two- thirds of the total household work. Married men who are employed do fourteen to eighteen hours of housework a week." 3 The impact of this unequal division of household labor is substantial and measurable. Research has shown that women with families who work full-time experience far higher levels of stress than their male 180