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.

sex is not a bargaining chip in marriage

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.

“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.”

women tend to be more involved with helping out in traditionally male chores, than men do with female tasks

In marriages where the woman carried out all the traditionally female tasks, the couples had sex 1.6 times as often

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.”

better and more frequent sex with their partner