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Couples that Divide Housework on Traditional Lines have More Sex

Update Date: Jan 30, 2013 04:13 AM EST

Men and women are more likely to get more sex when they divide household work in the traditional sense, meaning when the man pays the bills and cleans the yard, and the woman cooks and cleans, according to a new study.

The present study contradicts the idea that men and women sharing housework get more rewarding sex lives.

"The results show that gender still organizes quite a bit of everyday life in marriage. In particular, it seems that the gender identities husbands and wives express through the chores they do also help structure sexual behavior," said Julie Brines, a UW associate professor of sociology and co-author of the study.

The study was based on a survey that included around 4,500 married couples enroled in the National Survey of Families and Households between 1992 and 1994.

Researchers found that when couples divided housework between themselves, it was women who were doing a major part of the traditionally male-work and men were doing a fifth of "female-chores".

Data analysis showed that when women did all the traditionally assigned female-chores, the couple had more sex, which was about 1.6 times more per month when compared to couples who shared the housework in a non-traditional sense.

Researchers also found that women reported sexual satisfaction, whether they shared work in a traditional or non-traditional way. Also, variables like household income, woman's job, religion, etc., didn't affect the study results.

Study authors said that men shouldn't interpret the study results as an excuse for not sharing work at home.

"Men who refuse to help around the house could increase conflict in their marriage and lower their wives' marital satisfaction," said Sabino Kornrich, a former UW graduate student.

"Marriage today isn't what it was 30 or 40 years ago, but there are some things that remain important. Sex and housework are still key aspects of sharing a life, and both are related to marital satisfaction and how spouses express their gender identity," Brines said in a news release.

The study is published in the journal American Sociological Review. 

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