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Bad News: More Housework for Husbands Equals Less Sex

Househusband

It’s one or the other

If you thought you were ahead of the game because your husband is a gem of a man who takes on the burden of some of the more traditionally female housework chores such as cooking, cleaning and shopping, think again.

According to a new study in the February issue of the American Sociological Review, “couples in which men participate more in housework typically done by women report having sex less frequently.”

The study, which was conducted at the Center for Advanced Studies at the Juan March Institute in Madrid, found that men had sex an average of 5.2 times in the month prior to the survey while women reported 5.6 times on average. However, couples who performed more gender-traditional roles at home had more sex.

“The results suggest the existence of a gendered set of sexual scripts, in which the traditional performance and display of gender is important for creation of sexual desire and performance of sexual activity,” Sabino Kornrich, co-author of the study, said.

The researchers looked into the possibility that happiness, religion, gender ideology and other variables could have affected the frequency of sexual activity, but it didn’t factor in the same as the issue of housework.

But, for husbands who might see the study as justification for not cooking, cleaning, shopping, or performing other traditionally female household tasks, Kornrich issued a warning:

“Men who refuse to help around the house could increase conflict in their marriage and lower their wives’ marital satisfaction,” he said. “Earlier research has found that women’s marital satisfaction is indeed linked to men’s participation in overall household labor, which encompasses tasks traditionally done by both men and women.”

As it happens, though, according to the study, “couples in which men participate more in traditionally masculine tasks — such as yard work, paying bills, and auto maintenance — report higher sexual frequency.”

So, essentially it’s a choice: Less nitty-gritty housework or more sex.

Don’t say it. We know.

Photo credit: iStock

More from Meredith on Babble’s Mom blog:

Read (even) more from Meredith at Babble’s Toddler blog, follow her on Twitter, and check out her weekly column on the Op-Ed page of The Denver Post at MeredithCarroll.com

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