The Ultimate Connection: Chores?

October 23, 2009 | NeW Staff

WSJ takes an interesting angle on today’s “desperate housewife” with this headline: “Housework Pays off between the Sheets.” The study featured in the article concludes that for “husbands and wives alike, the more housework you do, the more often you are likely to have sex with your spouse.”

So, scrubbing the bathroom shower may actually bring you closer to your spouse, if you both are in there with yellow gloves?

The study documented 6,877 married couples who were elbow to elbow cleaning, preparing meals, washing dishes, ironing and doing yard work—to name a few daily chores. Aside from the obvious surprises, the study found that,

“Wives spent an average 41.8 hours a week on these tasks, compared with 23.4 hours for husbands—a split that is fairly typical.”

Are these numbers reflective of couples’ who embrace traditional gender roles where the wife cooks the bacon that the husband brought home? According to the study, no.

“Dr. Gager and her co-author, Scott Yabiku, associate professor of sociology at Arizona State University, Tempe, controlled the results for “gender ideology” and found the housework-sex link remained true, regardless of people’s views on roles.”

The study controlled the participant’s view of the role, but can something that may be innate actually be controlled? I am not convinced.

What I am sure of is that “sharing household chores” is ranked third most important in a successful marriage according to studies by the nonprofit Pew Research Center. Household chores fall right behind faithfulness and second to a happy sexual relationship. But considering housework-sex link, #3 may be moving up?

So, next time you grab your mop and Clorox be sure to look around, he may be more interested than you thought.

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