Dishwashers vs. Washing By Hand (UCSD Survey Results)

Dr. Jarryd Willis PhD
6 min readMay 10, 2021


This isn’t as inexplicable/confusing as it looks.

For reasons that may seem utterly inexplicable & incomprehensible at first, most respondents indicated a desire to do dishes entirely by hand instead of using the dishwasher machine thing.

How???? — You may ask 💁🏻 What shenanigans are behind such cognitions?

I often ask myself this question & it’s spurred some fascinating discussions over the years (same outcome when I lived in Texas).

One key thing that’s usually brought up is people who use dishwashers will rinse the plate off first because dishwasher don’t reliably clean everything, suggesting (correctly) that it makes the machine’s job easier, reduces the risk of buildup, etc. Put simply, by acclamation…

You Need To Rinse Your Dishes Off First

…But to skip the dishwasher entirely & wash 100% by hand is still fascinating to me.

No sex difference either. Just flabbergasted. Cascade is amazing & reduces the productivity costs of manually doing dishes when you have to update lecture slides, make/grade exams/quizzes, complete sidequests*, play xbox, watch Netflix/Prime/Football, etc

*Sidequests = respond to that email confirming your attendance at that Zoominar you indicated wanting to watch Friday at 3:30.

I don’t believe this kerfuffle is indicative of technological agnosticism given that most wash/dry their clothes using technology. Thus, there may be a socialization difference with doing dishes by hand. For instance, a few respondents mentioned in Discord:
- their family never used the dishwasher
- they don’t have dishwashers in the dorms (learned helplessness)
- washing dishes by hand is easier than washing clothes by hand because of the weight difference & space taken up

There may be something about dishwashers that separates it from other cleaning contexts. For instance, I have a feeling most people are going to be washer/dryer friendly, regardless of if they voted for dishwashers or not. Put simply, there seems to be something truly sui generis about washing dishes by hand vs. using the dishwasher; akin to a habitus that stays with you regardless of how your adult environment differs from your nurtural context. For example, if a Silicon Valley Ai Startup was trying to sale Ai that would wash peoples dishes by hand, it may go bankrupt because consumers still want to wash dishes with their own hands.

In short, I don’t think it’s a distrust of dishwashers. I think it’s personal attachment to washing by hand.

Importantly, for EHARMONY SUPPORT & Match, dishwashers vs hand is also a question worth putting on their romantic compatibility surveys.

Sidenotes (assume direct quotes)

Alethea Rollins 2019

Silent racial socialization was used more often by White mothers of biracial youth than by minority mothers of biracial youth (Rollins & Hunter, 2013)

In a qualitative investigation of Black and White parents’ socialization beliefs and practices regarding cross-ethnic contact, Hamm (2001) found that in contrast to Black parents who supported and encouraged positive relationships with White peers, White parents were more likely to endorse intergroup contact and exposure, but did not actively support or encourage intergroup relationships. White parents were also more likely to defer socialization efforts to the school, acknowledging their highly segregated lifestyle, living arrangements, and social experiences.
[Did Black parents encourage & support positive relations with Asian & Hispanic peers too?]

For White parents, intergroup relationships are bound contextually and are not integrated into daily life. As a result, their children have little intergroup contact (Hamm, 2001). White parents’ lack of racial socialization messages, unsupportive stance with regard to intergroup relationships, and deference of socialization could be attributed to the privileged position of White Americans. Minority parents cannot afford to defer socialization efforts to others, nor can they avoid intergroup contact.

White parents were more likely to endorse intergroup contact and exposure, but did not actively support or encourage intergroup relationships.

First, some parents embrace the Black (or minority) experience, adopting the beliefs and values of one group without recognition of the other (majority) group. Believing they have no other option, these families affirm society’s minority appraisal of their children and trust that group affiliation and affirmation will help their children traverse inevitable racism & discrimination.

For White parents, intergroup relationships are bound contextually and are not integrated into daily life.

Some parents endorse a “best of both worlds” approach, “affirming the uniqueness of each of the cultures that they represent” (Orbe, 1999, p. 175). This multiracial approach is committed to social consciousness and teaches about both cultures equally. Parents who espouse a multiracial approach support children’s individual choices with respect to their racial identity and communicate openly about the prejudice and discrimination that people of color face.

The child’s physical racial appearance may dictate parental socialization, either by constraining socialization or providing parents with opportunities to “use” their biracial child’s ambiguous appearance in situations in which some benefit is gained by choosing one group over another.

Minority Socialization

Minority socialization refers to the racial socialization strategies that parents use to prepare their minority children for and buffer and protect them from racial and discriminatory practices of the dominant society. Parents socialize their children toward their future reality (Ogbu, 1982), which is dependent on their historical and contemporary economic, social, and political realities. Although minorities have successfully defeated formal legal barriers, informal remnants persist. People of color continue to experience implicit and explicit racism and discrimination. As a result, parents directly and indirectly socialize their children to deal with the social and economic realities of being a minority in America..

Alethea Rollins 2019

White Women Made Up About 40% of All Slave Owners

Becky Little, 2019 (assume everything is a direct quote)

Filters & photoshopped selfies make may increase one’s prospects on the mating market in 2021, but in pre-Freedom America, “owning a large number of enslaved people made a woman a better marriage prospect.”

For White women, owning slaves provided them freedom

… — freedom from the patriarchal, sexist role of being their husband’s property (the property that her father gave away at the wedding).

Stephanie Jones-Rogers argues that white women were actually trained to participate from a very young age. “Their exposure to the slave market is not something that begins in adulthood — it begins in their homes when they’re little girls, sometimes infants, when they’re given enslaved people as gifts.”

Citing interviews with formerly enslaved that the Works Progress Administration — a New Deal agency — conducted in the 1930s, Jones-Rogers shows that part of white children’s training in plantation management involved beating enslaved people. “It didn’t matter whether the child was large or small,” one woman told the WPA. “They always beat you ’til the blood ran down.” As adults, white women often tore black women away from their babies so they could nurse the white mistress’ baby instead. To this end, white women placed thousands of advertisements in newspapers looking for enslaved “wet nurses” to feed their own children and created a huge market for enslaved black women who had recently given birth.

Why did these white women want black women to nurse their children? One complained “she felt like continuously having children and continuously nursing her children made her ‘a slave’ to her children — that’s an actual quote,” Jones-Rogers says.

Some black women in WPA interviews that their mothers would always give birth around the same time as the white mistress, suggesting that these mistresses were also orchestrating the sexual assault of enslaved women. “There were instances in which formerly enslaved people did in fact say that their mistresses either sanctioned acts of sexual violence against them that were perpetrated at the hands of white men; or that they orchestrated instances of sexual violence between two enslaved people that they owned, in hopes of producing children from those acts of sexual violence,” Jones-Rogers says.

Bisexual Courtship Preferences Quizzes (1–3)


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Dr. Jarryd Willis PhD

I'm passionate about making a tangible difference in the lives of others, & that's something I have the opportunity to do a professor & researcher.