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More sex for married couples with traditional divisions of housework
Date:1/29/2013

ot 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
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Contact: Molly McElroy
mollywmc@uw.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington
Source:Eurekalert

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