A new lifestyle study of men and women from Poland who have moved to Norway to work suggests that Polish men help more often with chores around the house in Norway than they did in Poland. Polish women, meanwhile, claimed they felt less feminine in Norway because of different dress codes and customs.
The study was led by researcher Natasza Kosakowska-Berezecka at the Insititute for Psychology at the University of Gdansk. She told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that many of the 45 Polish couples she and her colleagues interviewed over a two-year period, all of whom live and work in Norway, said they have a good life.
“They said they can relax more easily and they have more time to do things they like to do,” she told NRK. Her Norwegian research partner Gunhild Odden, who interviewed 15 other Polish families through the International Research Institute of Stavanger, reported that Polish men also said they “feel more like men” in Norway because their economic situation was much bettter. “Based on traditional Polish roles, the man is expected to provide for his family,” Odden told NRK. “He can do that to a greater degree in Norway.”
There are differences, though: Kosakowska-Berezecka’s research showed that their wives felt less feminine in Norway, where men don’t open doors for women and women don’t dress up as much. They appreciated how some Polish men start adopting Norwegian men’s roles, though, helping with housework and shopping and spending more time with their children. The men, according to the researchers, changed their habits far more than the women did while living in Norway.
People from Poland have long made up the largest single group of immigrants in Norway, followed by the Swedes.