A new survey reveals that couples enjoyed more frequent and satisfying sex for both partners when men made a fair contribution to housework. The same paper also says there's no relationship between the amount of housework male partners completed and the sexual functioning of a couple.
The goal of the new survey was to contradict a widely reported 2012 paper "entitled Egalitarianism, Housework, and Sexual Frequency in Marriage" (Kornrich et al. 2012) that said that when men perform what is regarded traditionally as female housework, things like doing the dishes, cooking and laundry, the couple had less sex. "(That study) didn't ring true," said Dr. Matt Johnson, a family ecology professor at the University of Alberta. "It didn't fit with my intuition and background experiences as a couple's therapist."
Johnson looked at survey data from 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 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 explained.
He found that when men perceived their contributions to the division of labour 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 US and explained that Germany tends to have more traditional gender roles than the US. And men, on average, tend to do less housework there, based on some studies, than in North America.