New research published in the February issue of the journal American Sociological Review and reviewed at the Eureka Alert website on Jan. 30, 2013, contradicts former research and shows that married men and women who divide household chores in traditional ways report having more sex than couples who share so-called men’s and women’s work.
The research conducted by scientists at the University of Washington points out the previous research that showed a higher frequency of sex when men did traditionally female household chores did not account for the types of chores the husbands were doing. The division of work did not include child care.
“Couples who follow traditional gender roles around the house – wives doing the cooking, cleaning and shopping; men doing yard work, paying bills and auto maintenance – reported greater sexual frequency.”
The findings come from a national survey of about 4,500 heterosexual married U. S. couples participating in the National Survey of Families and Households. The data were collected from 1992 to 1994, the most recent large-scale survey available that measured sexual frequency in married couples.
The researchers found that husbands, average age 46, and wives, average age 44, spent a combined 34 hours a week on traditionally female chores. Couples spent an additional 17 hours a week on chores usually thought of as men’s work.
Husbands performed about one-fifth of traditionally female tasks and a little more than half of the male-type work. This suggests that wives help out with men’s chores more often than husbands help with female tasks.
Men and women reported having sex about five times, on average, in the month prior to the survey. Marriages in which the wife does all the traditionally female tasks reported having had sex about 1.6 times more per month than those where the husband does all the traditionally female chores.
The researchers point out that men who refuse to do any traditional female chores at home were found to increase their spouse’s level of dissatisfaction.
The basic ideas are that despite the age of the data are that husbands being sexually coercive did not have a role, because wives reported similar levels of satisfaction in their sex lives whether they were in households with traditional or nontraditional divisions of labor, two income households had comparable patterns of sexual frequency and division of household chores relative to households where a spouse did not work outside the home, similarly, wives’ income was unrelated to how often the couple had sex, and other variables such as happiness in marriage, religion and gender ideology did not have a role.
It is not advisable for men to volunteer to wash their wife’s undergarments. It always has been.