Go ahead, guess. I’ll wait.
And while I’m waiting, I’ll just sit here and mope about how science seems to have it out for me in a major way.
No, really. Don’t worry about me. Go ahead.
I don’t know why I try. I really don’t. I mean, come on, dudes and dudettes, I should know better. And so should you. Just look at that stupid headline. Any question that is that specific and is so counter-intuitive . . . The answer has to be yes, even though it goes against the other rule of headline questions.
But, yes, the answer is yes. According to a some interesting new research, couples that come close to doing equal work around the house both report significantly less satisfaction with their sex life than do other couples with less equal shares.
A study called “Egalitarianism, Housework and Sexual Frequency in Marriage,” which appeared in The American Sociological Review last year, surprised many, precisely because it went against the logical assumption that as marriages improve by becoming more equal, the sex in these marriages will improve, too.
Now, this next part is the bit that killed me. Well, not literally, you understand. I was speaking figuratively. At least, I assume that’s the word. I find that my vocabulary has taken a prodigious hit from all the laundry fumes and accidentally ingested dishwashing soap.
It found that when men did certain kinds of chores around the house, couples had less sex. Specifically, if men did all of what the researchers characterized as feminine chores like folding laundry, cooking or vacuuming — the kinds of things many women say they want their husbands to do — then couples had sex 1.5 fewer times per month than those with husbands who did what were considered masculine chores, like taking out the trash or fixing the car.
Can it get any worse? That was a rhetorical question. Of course it can get worse. Much, much worse.
It wasn’t just the frequency that was affected, either — at least for the wives. The more traditional the division of labor, meaning the greater the husband’s share of masculine chores compared with feminine ones, the greater his wife’s reported sexual satisfaction.
Just. . . Just let me take a minute here. I’m. . . I need. . . Just a minute.
. . .
Okay. I’m back. Barely holding in the tears and massive waves of self-disgust, but I’m back. Needed to move some wash to the dryer.
I need to apply the standard bit of weasel speak here. Truly, correlation does not imply causation. Which means that, just because two things happen closely in time, that doesn’t mean that one thing caused the other thing to happen. And let’s not forget House’s Law: Everybody lies. And people lie about sex even more.
But, good FSM, this doesn’t look good.
Let’s assume here for a minute. Let’s assume that this correlation does, in fact, have some sort of causation. Men doing the traditionally female chores around the house have less sex and satisfy their spouses less than most. It’s a big (although not as big as I once thought) leap, but let’s assume it’s true.
That leaves us with the big question. Why?
Julie Brines, an author of the chores study, proffered this sad supposition. The less gender differentiation there is in the chores, the less sexual desire is generated.
On that sad note, I’m going to leave you for today. It turns out I’ve got a lot more to say about this. Mostly because I’ve been reading books on the subject in preparation for helping a couple of female healthcare professionals write a book on the subject. I’ll probably disqualify myself with this one, but sometimes a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do!
Did you hear that, dear? I’m a manly man! Dear? Honey?