Sex not diminished by sharing housework, study says


Does sharing housework cut into couples’ sex lives? The authors of a 2013 study would say yes, but new research done by Georgia State University sociologists suggests otherwise.

Assistant professor of sociology Daniel Carlson and colleagues Amanda Miller, Sarah Hanson and Sharon Sassler revisit this idea of housework and couples’ intimacy in their new study, “The Gender Division of Housework and Couples’ Sexual Relationships: A Re-Examination.” Earlier research failed to accurately depict the current state of American relationships, the team said.

The previous study examined data from the late '80s and early '90s, Carlson said. But he and his colleagues used data from a 2006 Marital and Relationship Survey (MARS) that sampled low- to moderate-income couples with a child.

Their results show an equal division of labor in the home does not lead to a decrease in sexual frequency and satisfaction. Egalitarian couples have similar and sometimes better sex lives than their conventional counterparts.

>> Read more trending stories

“Both arrangements are sexy for people,” Carlson said. “You can find high quality relationships in both types of relationships. Neither are detrimental.”

Carlson believes this new research proves Americans have grown to favor flexibility not only professionally but also personally.

“Attitudes are a big difference,” he said. “Couples today have role models to look at to make this work. In the '80s, egalitarian couples were at the forefront of change. Today’s couples have those examples to look to. It makes it a lot easier, resulting in higher quality relationships. I think we’ve moved to a place where a very stark division of labor is not something people want nor is it something couples want.”

While American views of shared housework have changed, women still do most of the housework in most households. Only 30 percent of the couples represented in the MARS survey admitted to sharing household duties.

Carlson is not surprised.

“It is clear what the vast majority of people want,” he said. “It’s just that right now our social institutions are lagging behind our cultural values. Eventually, as people continue to argue and fight for policies that promote gender equality at home and at work, people will be able to achieve their desires.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Health

The Kid Whisperer: What to do about the child who cries, cries, cries

Dear Kid Whisperer, I’m curious about crying tantrums. We have a strong-willed 6-year old girl who cries about everything lately. She cries over us not buying a toy or what she eats for breakfast. I offer her a hug, tell her I am sad that she is sad and tell her that it’s too loud and we can’t hear each other. I am gentle and loving...
Parenting with Dr. Ramey: What’s dangerous about the Golden Rule

The Golden Rule advising that you should behave towards others as you’d like to be treated seems reasonable — but in fact, represents a dangerous and wrong way of thinking about the world. Lee Ross and his social psychology colleagues have called this blunder in thinking “naive realism.” Avoiding this error will make you a better...
D.L. STEWART: Real men wear short coats because being cold is cool

A letter writer to the chief fashion critic at The New York Times asked a question in last Tuesday’s edition. “My son is in college in Maine,” AMY, PELHAM, N.Y., wrote, “and the temperature is frequently below zero. It seems like every woman is swathed in an ankle-length black puffer coat from November to March. So why do men...
Coupon deals of the week
Coupon deals of the week

Coupon availability and coupon values may vary within different regions or neighborhoods. Irish Spring Body Wash This week at Rite-Aid, Irish Spring body wash is on sale for $3.99. In most of your Rite-Aid ad inserts, you should find a coupon for this product that will drop the price down to $1.99. Also, use the $1 off one Irish Spring body wash manufacturer...
Cat play is a weighty matter
Cat play is a weighty matter

Cats need daily playtime to keep them healthy and happy, according to www.humanesociety.org. The organization lists multiple benefits including mental and physical stimulation, energy release, performing preying behaviors and bonding with their humans. This is important because an Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) study shows over 50 percent...
More Stories