Married men who help out with the housework 'get less sex'

Last Updated 30 January 2013, 12:30 IST

Men, mopping the kitchen may not help you get lucky in the bedroom!

Men who do more household chores typically viewed as feminine - like cleaning, cooking and washing - have less sex than those who don't, according to a new study.

The findings, published in the journal American Sociological Review, are correlational, so they can't say whether dish-washing actually makes men less sexy.

"Our findings suggest the importance of socialised gender roles for sexual frequency in heterosexual marriage," said Sabino Kornrich, lead author from the Center for Advanced Studies at the Juan March Institute in Madrid.

"Couples in which men participate more in housework typically done by women report having sex less frequently. Similarly, couples in which men participate more in traditionally masculine tasks—such as yard work, paying bills, and auto maintenance—report higher sexual frequency," Kornrich said in a statement.

The study, "Egalitarianism, Housework, and Sexual Frequency in Marriage," which considers heterosexual married couples in the US, relies on nationally representative data from the National Survey of Families and Households.

Men in the study reported having had sex an average of 5.2 times in the month prior to the survey while women reported 5.6 times on average.

However, both men and women in couples with more gender-traditional divisions of household labour reported having had more sex than those with more egalitarian divisions.

"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," said Kornrich.

Researchers explored the possibility that couples with more traditional divisions of labor had more sex because the husbands in those relationships were sexually coercive.

"Wives' reported satisfaction with their sex life has the same relationship to men's participation in household labour as sexual frequency.

"Had satisfaction with sex been low, but frequency high, it might have suggested coercion. However, we didn't find that," Kornrich said.

"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 labour, which encompasses tasks traditionally done by both men and women," said Kornrich.

(Published 30 January 2013, 12:29 IST)

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