Lockdown Exposes Areas Where Canadian Couples Are Struggling

Men get significantly lower grades from their partners on cooking meals, taking care of children and keeping the home clean.

Vancouver, BC [June 23, 2020] – While most Canadians who live with their spouse or partner appear happy with the way their significant others have behaved during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are certain aspects where men are faring worse than women, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of adults in Canada who live with a spouse or partner, 69% say they “strongly approve” of the performance of their significant other, while 22% “moderately approve.”

“Ontario (66%), Quebec (64%) and British Columbia (also 64%) are the regions of Canada with the lowest proportion of men and women who strongly approve of their spouses of partners,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The numbers are significantly higher in Alberta (75%), Atlantic Canada (80%) and Saskatchewan and Manitoba (83%).”

The level of “strong approval” of a spouse or partner is higher from men (73%) than women (65%). Both genders currently have the same level of “strong disapproval” (6%).

A majority of Canadians who are living with a spouse or partner say they are “very satisfied” with the way their significant other has handled eight issues:

  • Personal hygiene (69%)
  • Taking care of pets (57%)
  • Cooking meals (56%)
  • Taking care of children (55%)
  • Keeping the home clean and tidy (54%)
  • Overall attitude and demeanour (also 54%)
  • Making decisions about what to do (53%)
  • Providing emotional support when they need it (also 53%).

While 62% of men are “very satisfied” with their spouse or partner on keeping the home clean and tidy, the proportion drops to 46% when women answer the same question. In addition, 64% of men are “very satisfied” with their partner when it comes to cooking meals, but just 48% of women concur.

A similar gap is observed on taking care of children, with just 46% of women saying they are “very satisfied” with their partners—compared to 63% when men are asked.

On all eight issues, the level of strong satisfaction is higher among Canadians who have lived with their current spouse or partner for more than 10 years.

Almost half of Canadians who are living with a spouse or partner (46%) say the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic has made them grow closer as a couple. A similar proportion (47%) report no change in their relationship, while 6% say they have become more distant.

Results are based on an online study conducted from June 8 to June 17, 2020, among 796 adults in Canada who live with a spouse or partner. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:
Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca