MEN who do more housework get more sex. It's official. And women who do more housework get more sex, too. A new US study of almost 7000 married couples shows that couples who work hard, play hard.
''Go-getter'' couples who devote lots of time to paid work and household chores still make sex a priority, the study says. Published in the Journal of Family Issues, the study rebuts the view that the ''time crunch'' has killed passion stone dead.
''As life gets busier and time gets tighter, a select group of go-getter spouses can successfully balance multiple time commitments,'' say the authors, Constance Gager, of Montclair State University, New Jersey, and Scott Yabiku, of Arizona State University.
The study shows that sexual frequency averaged 82.7 times a year, or 1.6 times a week, although there was wide variation. Age and the duration of the relationship dampened sexual frequency, as did being Catholic compared to being Protestant. The presence of small children reduced frequency but older children were associated with more frequent sex.
Women on average did 41.8 hours of housework a week, almost twice as much as men, and 19.7 hours of paid work, bringing their total labour to 61.5 hours compared to 57.1 hours for men's total work hours. The more time spent on housework, the more sex the men and women reported.
The study found if slothful women and men - those who did housework for only 16 hours and two hours a week, respectively - increased their effort to match the high performers (women who did 68 hours and men 45 hours a week) they could expect to have sex 15 more times a year.
As well, men and women who spent more time in paid work reported more sex, leading the researchers to conclude that ''individuals may be achievers across multiple spheres''.
Barbara Pocock, the director of the Centre for Work and Life at the University of South Australia, in a study of Australian working women found resentment over housework killed libido.
''Women's feelings about their husband were shaped by perceptions of fairness around housework,'' she said.
''If the resentment factor was high that's when their sex life was not great. The best sex aid a man could use was a vacuum cleaner.''
She also wondered about the sex lives of those women - about one-third - who say they feel ''almost always rushed and pressed for time'', especially mothers who did more than 20 hours a week of paid work.
The US researchers say their findings debunk the theory that time spent on some pursuits, such as jobs or housework, must be stolen from other areas, such as sex. ''The much-lamented speed-up of everyday life … does not appear to have adverse effects on sexual frequency,'' they say.
But the quality of the sex? The researchers said they don't know whether sex has also speeded up and is not very satisfying.Sphere: Related Content