Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Husbands who do more traditionally female housework have less sex

Date:
January 30, 2013
Source:
University of Washington
Summary:
Married men and women who divide household chores in traditional ways report having more sex than couples who share so-called men's and women's work, according to a new study.

Married men who spend more time doing traditionally female household tasks report having less sex than husbands who don’t do as much.
Credit: Superingo / Fotolia

Married men and women who divide household chores in traditional ways report having more sex than couples who share so-called men's and women's work, according to a new study co-authored by sociologists at the University of Washington.

Other studies have found that husbands got more sex if they did more housework, implying that sex was in exchange for housework. But those studies did not factor in what types of chores the husbands were doing.

The new study, published in the February issue of the journal American Sociological Review, shows that sex isn't a bargaining chip. Instead, sex is linked to what types of chores each spouse completes.

Couples who follow traditional gender roles around the house -- wives doing the cooking, cleaning and shopping; men doing yard work, paying bills and auto maintenance -- reported greater sexual frequency.

"The results show that gender still organizes quite a bit of everyday life in marriage," said co-author Julie Brines, a UW associate professor of sociology. "In particular, it seems that the gender identities husbands and wives express through the chores they do also help structure sexual behavior."

Husbands shouldn't take these findings as justification for not cooking, cleaning, shopping or performing other traditionally female household tasks, warned lead author Sabino Kornrich, a former UW graduate student who is now a researcher at the Juan March Institute in Madrid. "Men who refuse to help around the house could increase conflict in their marriage and lower their wives' marital satisfaction."

The findings come from a national survey of about 4,500 heterosexual married U.S. couples participating in the National Survey of Families and Households. The data were collected from 1992 to 1994, the most recent large-scale survey available that measured sexual frequency in married couples. Brines says that it is unlikely that the division of housework -- which did not include child care in this study -- and sex have changed much since then.

The researchers found that husbands, average age 46, and wives, average age 44, spent a combined 34 hours a week on traditionally female chores. Couples spent an additional 17 hours a week on chores usually thought of as men's work.

Husbands performed about one-fifth of traditionally female tasks and a little more than half of the male-type work. This suggests that wives help out with men's chores more often than husbands help with female tasks.

Men and women reported having sex about five times, on average, in the month prior to the survey. But marriages in which the wife does all the traditionally female tasks reported having had sex about 1.6 times more per month than those where the husband does all the traditionally female chores.

Brines, an expert in family and household dynamics, said that it wasn't surprising that sexual activity was tied to the division of household chores. "If anything surprised us, it was how robust the connection was between a traditional division of housework and sexual frequency."

The researchers ruled out other possible explanations for their findings:

-- Husbands being sexually coercive did not have a role, because wives reported similar levels of satisfaction in their sex lives whether they were in households with traditional or nontraditional divisions of labor.

-- Two-income households had comparable patterns of sexual frequency and division of household chores relative to households where a spouse did not work outside the home. Similarly, wives' income was unrelated to how often the couple had sex.

-- Other variables such as happiness in marriage, religion and gender ideology did not have a role.

"Marriage today isn't what it was 30 or 40 years ago, but there are some things that remain important," Brines said. "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."

Katrina Leupp, a UW doctoral student in sociology, is the other co-author of the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Washington. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S. Kornrich, J. Brines, K. Leupp. Egalitarianism, Housework, and Sexual Frequency in Marriage. American Sociological Review, 2013; 78 (1): 26 DOI: 10.1177/0003122412472340

Cite This Page:

University of Washington. "Husbands who do more traditionally female housework have less sex." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130130082258.htm>.
University of Washington. (2013, January 30). Husbands who do more traditionally female housework have less sex. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130130082258.htm
University of Washington. "Husbands who do more traditionally female housework have less sex." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130130082258.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) More and more studies are showing positive benefits to playing video games, but the jury is still out on brain training programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) Research from Washington University suggest people with conscientious spouses have greater career success. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) Researchers say certain markers in the blood can predict risk of psychosis later in the life. The test can aid in early treatment for the condition. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

AP (Sep. 25, 2014) Teri Tacheny, a harpist, has a loyal following of fans who appreciate her soothing music. Every month, gorillas, orangutans and monkeys amble down to hear her play at the Como Park Zoo in Minnesota. (Sept. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins