Q. Why the fuck is this news?
A. Because it’s sensationalistic as hell. And it’s full of “gotcha” and “checkmate, feminists” bullshit:
Married men who shirk traditional “female” housework have more sex with their wives than those who willingly pitch in with the cooking or cleaning, a new study says.
The research, out of the University of Washington, shows that couples who keep to traditional household chores – where men rake leaves or fix the car and women tidy up or shop – have significantly more carnal encounters than their more egalitarian counterparts.
“Where the male is doing the male tasks and the female is doing the female tasks, those are the couples (who) are having more sex,” says Julie Brines, a sociologist at the Seattle school and a study co-author.
The study was released Wednesday by the journal American Sociological Review.
It found that couples spend an average of 34 hours a week on so-called “female” chores and 17 hours on more traditional male tasks. It also found that couples overall reported about five sexual encounters a month.
But households where Dagwood-like dreamboats preformed none of the “women’s work” reported 1.6 times more sexual encounters than those in which men took on the bulk of cooking and cleaning chores.
That increase in sexual frequency went down in an inverse proportion to the amount of traditional “women’s work” a husband took on.
Households where husbands claimed 40 per cent of that housework reported almost one less sexual encounter a month than those in which the males took on none of those chores.
Sounds like it confirms what the social conservatives and MRAssholes have always “known”, right? Namely, when “men are men and women are women”, that is, each sex conforms to its socially mandated sex role, sex is SEX. And it happens more often.
Meanwhile, egalitarian lovers aren’t getting enough love. Because men who do dishes and take the burden of housework off their wives’ already overloaded shoulders aren’t manly enough. Just the act of putting on an apron causes the testicles to shrink, and the penis to go limp. Poor babies!
Meanwhile, buried halfway down the piece, we get at the less sensational (but much more embarrassing) truth about the survey itself:
One of the study’s drawbacks is its reliance on data that is now two decades old.
The study looked at 4,500 heterosexual couples polled as part of the U.S. National Survey of Families and Households, conducted between 1992 and 1994.
So the data is 20 years out of date. Stale data to back up a stale pre-drawn conclusion, yawwwwwwwn. But, claims the author, it’s still relevant:
But Brines argues that the conception and division of male and female chores – not including child care duties which are much more evenly split today — has changed little in 20 years.
“It’s not what it was 50 years ago, there was a lot of change in the division of household labor in the ‘70s,” she says.
“But the pace of change started to slow down in the ‘80s and by the mid 1990s it kind of remained stuck and you’re pretty much at the same point.”
And she knows this HOW? Sorry, she doesn’t say. She does, however, like to stress how dull and boring the poor egalitarian couples are, and posits THAT as the cause of their almost one (!) less sexual shenanigan a month:
Past research, Brines says, suggests that mundane, gender-linked chores may be much more sexually charged than has been imagined.
“If the activity is coded as masculine or feminine and it expresses ideas about what makes the opposite sex interesting, attractive, alluring mysterious…that seems to be related to sexual activity and possibly sexual desire,” Brines says.
Egalitarian marriages, where couples share everything, have common interests and express close friendships produce less sex on average than their more disparate counterparts, she says.
“Their sex lives are pretty lackluster, they’re not all that active,” Brines says.
“There’s a sibling-like tonality to the relationships. They’re really good best friends, but the sexual charge is missing from the relationship.”
Gee, lady, you make it sound like we’re all just poles on a battery. Kind of a lifeless, mechanistic view of sexual relations, don’t you think?
Oh, and the best part comes last:
Brines says the finding do not reflect a sexual coercion on the part of knuckle-dragging husbands as both male and female spouses reported satisfied sex lives among those couples who practiced gender-based chore divisions.
While their sex lives may be more robust, however, these couples might pay for that sexual pleasure with more confrontations outside the bedroom, she says.
What exactly constitutes “satisfied sex lives”? Again, she doesn’t say. For all we know, the women in these households may have to finish themselves off with a vibrator because their dude is a truly traditional wham-bam kind of of guy, and the men might find more fulfillment in a bottle of Jergens lotion and a tattered copy of Playboy. Which, I guess, is satisfaction of a sort.
But not nearly as sexy as a guy who knows how to pick up after himself and can do it without complaining…or insisting on manning a leaf-blower, instead.
And certainly not worth more “confrontations outside the bedroom”, however “satisfying” what goes on within may be.