Generation Y fails where housewives of the 1950s excelled

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

Fewer younger women are able to iron a shirt, cook a roast chicken or hem a skirt, according to Australian research.

Just as more modern men were unable to complete traditionally male tasks, the new research showed Generation Y women could not do the chores their mothers and grandmothers did daily, reported news.com.au.

Only 51 per cent of women under 30 could cook a roast compared with 82 per cent of baby boomers. Baking lamingtons was a dying art, with 20 per cent of Gen Y capable of whipping up the classic, down from 45 per cent for previous generations.

Generation Y are people born in the 1980s and 1990s, although that has sometimes been stretched to include the mid-1970s and early 2000s.

Social researcher Mark McCrindle told news.com.au: "Women of today tend to be busier, juggling more roles and are quite prepared to compromise a bit of the homemade just to save some time.

"They also have a lot more disposable income compared with their mums and their grandmothers so buying a cake mix or lamingtons ready-made is not a big deal."

Traditional skills outside the kitchen are falling by the wayside too, with Gen Y women woefully behind their older counterparts, the study by McCrindle Research found.

Only 23 per cent can grow a plant from a cutting while 78 per cent of older women say this is a breeze.

"We live in a throw-away culture where, rather than repair something, we will buy a new one, even if it is just a matter of darning holes or sewing on buttons," Mr McCrindle said.

"Many women have lost these skills. If we do want something repaired, women today are more likely to take it to their drycleaner because they are busy and can afford it."

Driving manual cars is also on the decline, with just 40 per cent of women under 30 possessing this skill compared with 71 per cent of older women.

The results tally with a survey which found Australian Gen Y men were more comfortable changing a nappy than changing a tyre.

But Gen Y women are also taking on other tasks previously done by men.

More than 70 per cent of women under 30 say they often take out the bins, 77 per cent mow the lawn and 70 per cent wash the car.

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