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Marjorie Bekaert Thomas
Advances in health and medicine.
General Health Channel
Reported January 30, 2013

Housework For A Better Sex Life?


(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Traditional gender roles have changed significantly over the past few decades, but keeping to these roles when it comes to housework may have an unexpected impact on couples’ sex lives. A recent study suggests married couples where the household chores are divided according to traditional gender roles have more sex than couples that share “men” and “women” chores. 
Researchers came to this conclusion using data of close to 4,500 married couples that participated in the National Survey of Families and Households between 1992 and 1994. 
Chores classified as being traditionally “women’s work” includes cooking, cleaning, and shopping while “men’s work” entailed chores like yard work and auto maintenance. Couples who adhered to these roles had sex an average of 1.6 times more each month than those where the men carried out chores thought of as “women’s work.” The average amount of sex for all of the couples involved was about five times a month. 
“It seems that the gender identities husbands and wives express through the chores they do also help structure sexual behavior," one of the study authors Julie Brines, a UW Associate Professor of Sociology was quoted as saying. 
The study was able to rule out other factors influencing sexual frequency because both groups reported being equally satisfied with their sex lives regardless of how much income the woman brought in, religion, gender ideology, and whether both individuals worked outside the home. 
Furthermore, it was also determined that men only do about one-fifth of traditionally female chores and over half of chores considered “men’s work.” So, it is believed that women are more likely to help their spouse with chores around the house than men are. 
This however does not mean that men can slide by without doing any work around the house.
"Men who refuse to help around the house could increase conflict in their marriage and lower their wives' marital satisfaction,” Brines was quoted as saying. 
In fact, previous studies found that husbands who did more chores around the house also had more sex. 
Source: American Sociological Review, February 2013 
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