New study: couples who divide housework on traditional sex roles have a lot more sex

Here’s the press release from Agence France Presse. (H/T Stuart Schneiderman)


The road to hell is paved with good intentions, as they say: the more housework married men do, the less sex they have, according to a new study published Wednesday.

Husbands who spend more time doing traditionally female chores — such as cooking, cleaning, and shopping — reported having less sex than those who do more masculine tasks, said the study in the American Sociological Review.

“Our findings suggest the importance of socialized gender roles for sexual frequency in heterosexual marriage,” said lead author Sabino Kornrich, of the Center for Advanced Studies at the Juan March Institute in Madrid.

“Couples in which men participate more in housework typically done by women report having sex less frequently. Similarly, couples in which men participate more in traditionally masculine tasks — such as yard work, paying bills, and auto maintenance — report higher sexual frequency.”

His study, “Egalitarianism, Housework, and Sexual Frequency in Marriage,” looks at straight married couples in the United States, and was based on data from the National Survey of Families and Households.

[…]”The results suggest the existence of a gendered set of sexual scripts, in which the traditional performance and display of gender is important for creation of sexual desire and performance of sexual activity,” Kornrich said.

Prior to that study, there was this Norwegian study.


Couples who share housework duties run a higher risk of divorce than couples where the woman does most of the chores, a Norwegian study sure to get tongues wagging has shown.

The divorce rate among couples who shared housework equally was around 50 per cent higher than among those where the woman did most of the work.

“The more a man does in the home, the higher the divorce rate,” Thomas Hansen, co-author of the study entitled Equality in the Home, said.

[…]“Maybe it’s sometimes seen as a good thing to have very clear roles with lots of clarity … where one person is not stepping on the other’s toes,” Mr Hansen suggested.

“There could be less quarrels, since you can easily get into squabbles if both have the same roles and one has the feeling that the other is not pulling his or her own weight,” he added.

Men, if you want to avoid losing everything by marrying the wrong woman and getting a divorce, then pay attention to these studies and choose wisely. Find out what you are designed to do in a marriage, and what women are designed to do. Train to do your jobs well, and pick a woman who not only does her jobs, but wants you to do yours. And respects you for doing your jobs.

8 thoughts on “New study: couples who divide housework on traditional sex roles have a lot more sex”

  1. Sorry, but it’s a load of rubbish. My husband and I both worked full time until retirement. We now run a children’s home together. He does most of the housework due to the fact that he’s had quite a bit of illness over the years and can’t do a lot of heavy work. Even before his illness he did his share. First home from work cooked dinner, the other clearing up afterward. Both of us doing the cleaning together on a Saturday. I deal with finances due to the fact that he has always, even from the beginning of our marriage, forgotten to pay bills and spends the money on other things. I do what Americans call yard work, for the simple fact I’m better at it. We will have been happily married for 39 years next month. We’ve had three kids, (four pregnancies) and until recently our sex life has been fine.

    I can only assume that the people who did this study were men trying to get out of their share of doing housework.

    We also now live in Ukraine and here men have their own ‘jobs’. They won’t do cooking or cleaning etc, even if they make the mess. I have many friends of different nationalities and of all the people I know Ukrainians seem to divorce much more than America or UK.

    1. Anecdotal evidence over peer-reviewed studies? I take it you haven’t considered how little weight anecdotes carry?
      In the statistics, we see that there is a margin to allow for such a case as you describe, so your anecdote carries even less weight than it would have otherwise. I don’t think you have refuted this argument.

    2. Since we’re all anonymous here, would you elaborate on what you meant when you said that you’re sex life was fine. How many times per week do you and your husband have sex? You may indeed be a positive outlier from the study.

  2. This makes me wonder if sex drive influenced the construction of “gender roles”.

    The guys doing what is termed “manly” work got the girl while the one not doing “manly” work didn’t.

    1. There’s no construction of gender roles. Gender is biological, and not mutable the way feminists think. It is a result of genetics and neuroendocrinological influences during gestation. Even during this period the influences of sex are biological and formed. Thus, it is not that sex drive influenced gender roles, but that sex drive and gender roles go together as one package.

      Therefore, men’s desire to work, provide, and attain status positions are not constructed socially. They are determined by men’s biological make-up.

  3. Could it be that the women are giving the men more sex in order to get them to help with housework? That’s what I thought when I first saw it. I don’t want my husband to do half the housework (he’d probably put things in places I don’t want them) but I would like his help.

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