Does A More Equal Marriage Really Mean Less Sex?

Does A More Equal Marriage Really Mean Less Sex?

A recent New York Times piece by Lori Gottlieb entitled "Does a More Equal Marriage Mean Less Sex?" made a lot of waves over the weekend. Gottlieb's analysis suggests that couples in egalitarian marriages (i.e., marriages in which the spouses share power and divide responsibilities equally) tend to have worse sex lives than couples who adopt more traditional gender roles. As some support for this idea, Gottlieb cited a study published in the American Sociological Review last year, which reported that married couples who divide household chores along gendered lines (i.e., with women doing more work inside the home, such as cleaning and ironing, and men doing more work outside of the home, such as mowing the lawn and fixing the car) have sex more often than couples who divide chores evenly [1]. However, a closer look at this research suggests that Gottlieb (like many others who have reported on this particular study) may be overselling the implications.

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Do Men Who Avoid Household Chores Really Have More Sex?

A new study published in the American Sociological Review reports that when married couples divide household chores along gendered lines (i.e., with women doing more work inside the home, such as cleaning and ironing, and men doing more work outside of the home, such as mowing the lawn and fixing the car), they tend to have more sex [1]. In response, several headlines have popped up saying things like “Men who don’t do chores have a lot of sex” and “What to have more sex? Men, stop helping with the chores.” So it’s settled, then. Put down those vacuum cleaners and dirty dishes, guys, and prepare to get laid like you’ve never been laid before. On second thought, scratch that. A closer look at the research suggests that maybe we shouldn’t take these headlines or the results of this research too seriously.
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