(Photo by Katarzyna Bialasiewicz/iStock)
Wait a second. Didn’t we already establish that old Ward and June Cleaver had a much hotter sex life than the rest of us?
I’m talking about that University of Washington study that looked at the correlation between housework and sex. Last year, I despaired that it might reinforce gender stereotypes because it concluded that couples who follow traditional roles at home have more sex—almost twice as much!—than couples with more egalitarian arrangements.
Thank goodness, there’s a new study out, and it says the opposite is true.
Brigid Schulte at the Washington Post summarizes this latest study, which surveyed 600 married and cohabiting low-to-moderate income couples with kids:
Using more recent data from 2006, couples who split the housework fairly are the happiest between the sheets. They have the most sex, are the most satisfied with their sex lives, and express the highest level of sexual intimacy.
Did you hear that? Not just more sex but better sex! (Couples who split housework equitably had sex about 7.74 times a month.)
What’s more, the study indicates that traditional gender roles are breaking down. Georgia State University professor Dan Carlson, one of the study’s authors, tells the Post: “There’s a lot of evidence that men who engage with their children and are involved at home are sexy, and women who are strong and independent turn men on.”
More equality + more freedom = more sex. Not only will this mean more equality and better relations between the sexes, but we’ll all have spectacularly clean homes!
But, wait, is this too good to be true? You bet.
Truth is, there’s a limit to how much progress we can all stomach. It turns out that the quantity and quality of sex suffered if the men did most of the housework. (The score for quality of sexual relationship hit a high of 7.78 if both shared the housework, 7.67 if the woman did most of it and 6.73 if the man did most.)
So we’re not completely free of gender stereotypes. Still, it’s progress that couples are happiest when domestic chores are shared.
Too bad that househusbands still aren’t getting much respect—or sex.