Husbands who help out with household chores have less sex than men in so-called "traditional" marriages where housework is done exclusively by the wife, researchers from the USA and Spain reported in the journal American Sociological Review.
In faithful relationships, the wife whose husband is involved in housework obviously has less sex too, the authors added.
This latest study contradicts most previous ones, which tended to imply that married men generally have more sex in exchange for doing housework. However, those studies did not take into account which chores the husbands did.
The researchers, all sociologists, said that their study demonstrated that sex is not a bargaining chip in marriage. Rather, it is associated with the kinds of chores each partner completes.
Married couples reported greater sexual frequency if the women did the cooking, cleaning and shopping and the men did the gardening, electrics and plumbing, car maintenance and paid the bills.
Co-author Julie Brines, professor of sociology at the University of Washington, said:
"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."
Lead author, Sabino Kornrich, warned that men should not assume from these findings that they should not become involved in traditionally female household tasks, such as shopping, cleaning or cooking. "Men who refuse to help around the house could increase conflict in their marriage and lower their wives' marital satisfaction."
The researchers gathered and examined data from a national survey of approximately 4,500 heterosexual married couples in the USA who took part in the National Survey of Families and Households. The survey, the largest to measure sexual frequency among married couples, included data from 1992 to 1994.
Brines does not believe that the division of household chores - which in this study did not include child care - and sex have changed much since 1994.
"Traditional female tasks" include shopping, cleaning, looking after the kids, and cooking
According to the study, husbands and wives spent an average of 34 hours each week on traditionally female chores. The men's average age was 46, and the women's 44. The couples spent an extra 17 hours each week on "men's work".
On average, the males were involved in about one-fifth of traditionally female chores, and slightly more than half of male-type work. The researchers found that women tend to be more involved with helping out in traditionally male chores, than men do with female tasks.
The couples reported having sex approximately five times, on average, during the four weeks before the survey. In marriages where the woman carried out all the traditionally female tasks, the couples had sex 1.6 times as often, compared to couples where the man was involved in all the female chores.
Brines says she is not surprised that there was more sex among the traditional couples. "If anything surprised us, it was how robust the connection was between a traditional division of housework and sexual frequency." Brines is an expert in family and household dynamics.
The following possible explanations for their findings were ruled out by the researchers:
Male coercive behavior played no role, because women reported similar satisfaction levels in their sex lives in both types of households (traditional or "modern")
In two-income households, the difference in sexual frequency was still driven by male behavior regarding traditional female chores. Also, the wife's income had no impact on sexual frequency.
The following had no impact on sexual frequency - gender ideology, religion, and happiness in marriage.
"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."
Recovery from Workload Influenced by Housework and Leisure Activity Balance
How rapidly and effectively male and female spouses recover from the burdens of work is probably influenced by a balance of housework time and leisure time, a study by experts from the University of Southern California reported in the Journal of Family Psychology.
Over half of all married couples in the USA are two-income households. The authors wondered whether the winner was the one who had the most help with the housework.
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
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Need more data on total time use
posted by adora on 16 May 2013 at 8:57 pm
Perhaps those who share chores also share more interests and recreational activities, which means they don't need to have so much sex in order to express love. (Wouldn't it be just as lovely to go salsa dancing? Scuba diving? Video games?)
Maybe husbands who do chores because they work nights while wives work daytime. Their wives simply aren't at home while they are hungry or making the mess. This would imply the 3rd factor in which their total time spent together is less than those in "traditional" marriage.
These are just two of my hypothesis. Correlation does not imply causation. Need more data!
I was one those jerks who did nothing around the house to help my wife. She was always "too tired". She got really sick and I HAD to take over everything. Well, guess what - I was too tired. No wonder my poor wife was exhausted!!! No wonder she called me a jerk!!! Let's have some empathy for the way men treated women for too long. Stand up women!! Or better yet - ladies, go sit down and watch TV while he does all the work!!
Have not had sex for years- simply BECAUSE he will not help with anything around here. He knows that I work full-time too, but since he feels he does not have to do anything to help then he can do without sex because I AM TOO TIRED. Definitely a bargaining chip in this house.
@ Mary Ann. God has absolutly nothing to do with housework or raising the kids! I'm a 50's person, & my hubby and I both work and share in the cooking, cleaning & chores in general. We have been happily married for 35yrs. Rest assured God is in our home, but still has nothing to do with our schedule or chores or marriage. Get a real life before you post so you won't soung so ignorant when you post. TY :)
posted by Mary Ann Rose Obal on 1 Feb 2013 at 10:42 am
Helping each other in household and in everything is a great marriage ever. But ladies should do more housework and taking care of the kids than gentleman. Always remember, God first before everything.
Not true - If anything, a guy doing chores at home is more sexy than anything else
posted by Lena on 1 Feb 2013 at 10:42 am
Well, this is simple not true. chores at our place is divided equally: I cook, he clean dishes I clean the bathroom, he cleans the floor I fold the laundry, he washes them He does as much chores as I do and we can't get enough of each other. If anything, a guy doing chores at home is more sexy than anything else. I think this article is conducted by men for men, absolute no relation with women sexual attraction.
This is DUMB - So basically keep the woman in the kitchen?
posted by LOVEISFOREVERYONE on 1 Feb 2013 at 10:34 am
So basically keep the woman in the kitchen? What is this the 1950s/1960s?
This is ridiculous...and Rev Graham youre an idiot...this isnt science...its called research....research isnt alway true...and that doesnt mean everyone isnt entitled to love...
Nowhere in the bible does it say "God Hates Gays"
Everyone is entitled to love no matter who you love....Just because youre a so called reverand doesnt mean we have to listen to your B.S. excuse for preaching. go somewhere else and preach because you make as much sense as this dated article which is basically saying keep women in the kitchen and what are we supposed to rub mens feet after a long day and wipe your ass too...FORGET THAT SHIT...im an independent woman and my husband loves me that way and we have sex more because of that.
Keep living in your fantasy world with your fantasy "research".
This study is from outdated National Survey of Families and Households data
posted by Kristen on 1 Feb 2013 at 10:28 am
On WebMD it says "The nationally representative data, collected between 1992 and 1994, is considered the most recent large-scale information measuring sexual frequency in married couples. The average age of survey participants was 46 for the husbands and 44 for the wives, and the marriages were all heterosexual."
So, it's 20 year old data from an already older generation, and doesn't take into account a possible generational shift in attitudes about men's and women's work, especially as many children have been raised in a completely different family environment over the last two decades. Sheesh- do a little more digging- or at least investigate whether the study's assumption that this data would be applicable to today's families is valid!
OMG really ??? What a ludicrous story to begin with. Join the 2013 way of real people living! We as women do not walk behind our men, nor are we subservient to them as we work also. This has nothing to due with being a "Christian" @ all. It's another fabricated story to grab peoples attention. Rev. G. Bruce, catch up on the times. It's not the 50's any more!
As a woman who was raised old-fashioned, I feel that perhaps women respect a man that can do chores that are considered "manly" because we either don't like dealing with them (either due to difficulty or stereotypical brainwashing that we shouldn't) or we just cannot physically do so, whereas a man, can. I know women tend to walk all over more sensitive men who can do and will do "women's" chores because they see them as less masculine. I appreciate when they do it, if they don't make a worse mess after their efforts but I am a little old school and prefer my man to be a little more traditional as well.
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