Man at His Best

Couples Who Divide Housework Equally Have More Sex

Go wash some dishes. ​

BY Eve Peyser | Jun 26, 2016 | Sex & Relationships


The short version: You need to be doing the dishes more. 

The long version: A new study, which will be published in the Journal of Marriage and Familysuggests that couples who share chores—a behaviour  considered 'nontraditional' by many—have more sex. And really, what's better than lots of sex combined with equal rights?

Cornell University professor Sharon Sassler, one of the authors of the study, writes,

"Contemporary couples who adhere to a more egalitarian division of labour are the only couples who have experienced an increase in sexual frequency compared to their counterparts of the past. Other groups – including those where the woman does the bulk of the housework – have experienced declines in sexual frequency."

This is important, especially because previous studies have suggested the exact opposite. In 2014, The New York Times Magazine wrote their cover story about a study that concluded, "Both husbands and wives in couples with more traditional housework arrangements report higher sexual frequency."

Comedian John Oliver recently dove into gaps like this, critiquing the way the scientific studies are reported. Because, yes, many truths can exist at once, so it's possible to conduct two similar studies that have conflicting results. The full details of Sassler's study are yet-to-be published, so once we know the size of her sample group and method we can better evaluate the meaning of her study.

Sassler's study takes into account the results of previous studies. Jenny Anderson reports for Quartz that they compared their study with older data from 1992-2006. The most recent study they found that "couples who reported sharing housework equally had sex 6.8 times per month, on average, or about once more per month than those where the woman does more 'routine housework." So maybe things are just evolving.

Furthermore, historian Stephanie Coontz makes an important point that the definition of 'successful' heterosexual love has greatly evolved over the past 70 years. She says, "[Sassler's] study–and others–reflect more equalized power between men and women. In marriages of the '50s and '60s, wives often reported having sex more often than they wanted because they were dependent on their husbands."

From: Esquire US