Rebecca Kamm

Poking a stick at ladies' issues, pop culture, and other cutting-edge curiosities.

Rebecca Kamm: The sex/chore ratio

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What's with all the studies linking chores with sex?Photo / Thinkstock
What's with all the studies linking chores with sex?Photo / Thinkstock

I'm a bit puzzled by a news piece that's whizzing all over the world of internet right now, and it's this: some academics from Washington University are claiming that men who help their ladies with traditionally "feminine" chores - cleaning, cooking and washing, etc - have sex 1.6 times LESS often than other couples, who presumably operate on a Woman does this, Man does that basis.

Before you cry out 'Yes, but the man is doing man things in their place!' - think again.
Because even when men did do typically "male" chores (whatever they are) lady tasks still took up 17 more hours a week than man tasks. And ladies did half the man tasks, anyway. So basically, the laziest guys in live-in relationships get laid the most because life is fair like that.

Interestingly, sociologist Pepper Schwartz says the finding isn't even that surprising, because it matches other studies that indicate egalitarian marriages are less racy. "That companionable part of the relationship turns out not to be so sexy," he told website.

So: I DON'T GET IT. First of all, wouldn't ladies be annoyed their guy didn't help around the house and be less inclined to have sexual relations? Wouldn't women who had decent, equality-minded men feel happier in their relationships, and therefore be more down for bedtime activities?

Maybe the "sort" of ladies who (rightly) expect men to also do chores tend to speak their mind more, so they don't buckle to pressure when their guy is all 'Let's have sex even though you're not in the mood'. And, inversely, maybe the women who don't feel comfortable asking their dude to lift a finger also don't feel comfortable calling the shots in the bedroom? Except that theory relies on men being the ones who want sex more, which isn't always true.

I just refuse to believe it's because when people are in a healthy, equal relationship, they want sex less. REFUSE I TELL YOU!

It's almost as weird as that ridiculous Norwegian study last year that found divorce rates were 50 per cent higher among couples that divided the housework equally. "What we've seen is that sharing equal responsibility for work in the home doesn't necessarily contribute to contentment," said Thomas Hansen, co-author of that paper.

But then there was THIS, which says divorce is actually twice as likely when men neglect housework. ARGHHHHHHH. It's so confusing. And why are these academics so obsessed with measuring correlations between sex and chores anyway? Maybe I should call them up and tell them my new rule for relationships and chore division, which goes like this:

Are you human? Yes, are you? Yes. I am. Ok, let's both use our human arms and human legs to do chores to make our house that we BOTH live in look and smell really nice. And maybe later if we can be bothered we will also have sex. The end.

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