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Study: Husbands Who Do More Traditionally Female Housework Have Less Sex

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Married men who spend more time doing traditionally female household tasks—including cooking, cleaning, and shopping—report having less sex than husbands who don’t do as much, according to a new study in the February issue of the American Sociological Review.

“Our findings suggest the importance of socialized gender roles for sexual frequency in heterosexual marriage,” said Sabino Kornrich, the study’s lead author and a junior researcher at 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.”


The study, “Egalitarianism, Housework, and Sexual Frequency in Marriage,” which considers heterosexual married couples in the United States, 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. But, both men and women in couples with more gender-traditional divisions of household labor 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, who co-authored the study with two University of Washington researchers, Julie Brines, an associate professor of sociology, and Katrina Leupp, a doctoral candidate in sociology.

The researchers also investigated, and ultimately ruled out, a number of other possible explanations for their findings. For example, they 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 labor as sexual frequency,” Kornrich said. “Had satisfaction with sex been low, but frequency high, it might have suggested coercion. However, we didn’t find that.”

In addition, the researchers found that happiness, religion, gender ideology, and a range of other variables did not affect the relationship between more traditional divisions of labor and more frequent sexual activity.

“The importance of gender has declined over time, but it continues to exert a strong influence over individual behaviors, including sexual frequency within marriage,” Kornrich said.

But, for husbands who might see the study as justification for not cooking, cleaning, shopping, or performing other traditionally female household tasks, Kornrich issued a warning. “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 labor, which encompasses tasks traditionally done by both men and women.”

Contacts and sources:
Daniel Fowler
American Sociological Association

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    Total 10 comments
    • LeotheLion

      Probably they have less sex because they are gay and just married a woman for the appearance.

      I did more housework than my wife and I wanted sex everyday, but she didn’t.

    • It's Me Again

      My wife and I went to a marriage counselor after about 15 minutes one of the first things SHE told me was that women think that a man doing housework, (cooking, laundry, shopping, cleaning) was something that women find very sexy. I got up left and never went back. I’m only too happy to do more than my share but I’m not going to let someone tell me a lie like that and actually think that I’ll believe it.
      If I need a load of manure for my garden I’ll go to Home Depot and buy it.

      • Anonymous

        So It’s Me Again, I’m just guessin that you’re no longer married, and probably pretty lonely too!

    • Banderman

      Men better wake up; you’re being gamed, trained, played, and humiliated by American women.

      • Realist

        Females are hellspawned abominations.

      • Screen Name

        Well, now we know how women treat you!

    • Anonymous

      My girlfriend told me I should be more affectionate. So I got two girlfriends. :neutral:

      • Anonymous

        i tried everything to spice up my wife and my sex life, to the point where i went to the doctor for advice. he gave me a few tips and different things to try, but still.. things were just not going to well..

        finally, he even suggested i should “try the other hole?”

        i told him in no uncertain terms! – NO WAY! – thats the last thing i want… MORE KIDS!

    • Mellissa

      I can say I am more inclined to have sex if say we shared the load of house work then relaxed together, rather then me do it all and he just sit there playing games or watching tv. Tho there have been days where I am the one not doing much and he has never not been just 1 second away from being ready. Even dead sick, men lol

      • Realist

        Go burn some bras, feminist wretch.

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