Less housework means more sex for married men, study finds

Doing the laundry might get him a pat on the back, but new research suggests the effort will not get him laid in the sack.

A study published in the February edition of the American Sociological Review concludes that husbands who engaged in more traditionally masculine chores — yard work, trash collection, home repairs — tend to get more action in the bedroom than those who gravitated to the more feminine tasks around the house — cooking, cleaning, etc.

“Our findings suggest the importance of gender display for sexual frequency in heterosexual marriage: couples where men participate more in core tasks — work typically done by women — report lower sexual frequency,” the researchers wrote. “Similarly, couples where men participate more in non-core, traditionally masculine tasks report higher sexual frequency, suggesting the importance of gender-typed participation in household labor.”

As their paper notes, the findings contradict earlier studies that claimed men who picked up a broom can increase their frequency of sex.

The sociologists from the University of Washington, led by Sabino Kornrich of the Center for Advanced Studies at the Juan March Institute in Madrid, labeled more feminine housework as “core-tasks,” they found that those men who performed no core-tasks had more sex than men who did core tasks.

The study used data compiled in 1996 from the National Survey of Families and Households — which Kornrich told TODAY still applies to the current population makeup — and the same data that has been used to determine that men who perform more core-tasks get more sex. Kornish told TODAY that he and his team merely broke the data down differently.

“You end up with a more nuanced pattern,” Kornish said. “Men who do a greater share of male-typed housework and women who do a greater share of female-typed housework report more frequent sex.”

The researchers argue that the same “sex scripts” that apply in household duties correlates with those at play in terms of sex initiation.

“The importance of gender has declined over time, but it continues to exert a strong influence over individual behaviors, including sexual frequency within marriage,” they concluded in their paper.

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