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Fair Division of Housework = Better Sex Life

Fair Division of Housework = Better Sex Life

New research suggests men may want to consider washing more dishes or doing an extra load of laundry as a way to have more and better sex.

Investigators from the University of Alberta discovered that couples enjoyed more frequent and satisfying sex for both partners when men made a fair contribution to housework.

The same study also found there’s no relationship between the amount of housework male partners completed and the sexual functioning of a couple.

The new study contradicts a widely reported 2012 US study that stated that when men perform what is regarded traditionally as female housework —¬†things like doing the dishes, cooking, and laundry —¬†the couple had less sex.

The new finding, however, does not surprise experts.

The first study didn’t ring true, said Dr. Matt Johnson, a family ecology professor in the Department of Human Ecology at the University of Alberta. “It didn’t fit with my intuition and background experiences as a couples therapist.”

Johnson pored over data from a five-year study of 1,338 German couples to see if the amount of housework the male partner did was a predictor of a couple’s sex life. He didn’t find any connection.

He also looked at men’s perception of whether they made a fair contribution to housework, and how that was related to their sex life.

“In any relationship, the amount of housework is going to mean something different based on the couple’s context, based on their own expectations for what each partner should be doing, and their comparison levels of what happens with other couples they know,” Johnson said.

He found that when men perceived their contributions to the division of labor as fair, the couple engaged in more frequent sex and both male and female partners were more satisfied with their sex life.

Johnson acknowledged there are cultural differences between Germany and the U.S. and explained that Germany tends to have more traditional gender roles than the U.S. And, some studies have found that men, on average, tend to do less housework in Germany.

“There are cultural differences but if the logic held from the prior studies, we would have expected to have a more pronounced negative impact of housework on sexuality in Germany because it’s a bit more traditional. But that wasn’t the case at all,” said Johnson.

He added that the findings are important for couples seeking to maintain sexual intimacy while balancing the demands of daily life.

The lesson may be that equitable sharing of duties helps both parties feel good about their relationship.

“Rather than avoiding chores in the hopes of having more sex, as prior research would imply, men are likely to experience more frequent and satisfying passion for both partners between the sheets when they simply do their fair share.”

The paper will appear in print in a future issue of the Journal of Family Psychology.

Source: University of Alberta/EurekAlert
Upset couple photo by shutterstock.

Fair Division of Housework = Better Sex Life

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Fair Division of Housework = Better Sex Life. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 4, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018 (Originally: 3 Nov 2015)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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