One key to a happier sex life: Share child care duties equally, new research finds
(First saw the following on DefendTheSheep’s Twitter account)
Gender complementarians everywhere should find this upsetting.
- August 2015
By Brigid Schulte
- Want a happier sex life? For parents, a new study suggests that one of the surest ways to do that is to equally share child care responsibilities.
Egalitarian couples who share between 40 to 60 percent of child care duties, from reading bedtime stories and diaper changing to arranging carpools and playing in the park, not only have higher quality relationships than more traditional couples where women do the bulk of the care work, they also have the best sex lives, the research shows.
“In nearly every case, compared to having the female partner doing all the child care, we found that couples who split it equally had better outcomes across the board,” said Dan Carlson, a sociologist at Georgia State University who co-authored the report and presented it at the American Sociological Association’s annual conference.
- “Egalitarian couples fought less. They had higher quality relationships. They were more satisfied with their sex lives, and they were more satisfied with the amount of sex they were having.”
- Egalitarian and traditional couples, where men are primarily the breadwinners and women primarily responsible for housework and child care, had about the same amount of sex, Carlson said. But egalitarian couples were more satisfied with it.
“These are not minor differences at all,” Carlson said. “These are gulfs of difference between egalitarian and traditional couples in terms of relationship conflict, relationship satisfaction and for quality of sex.”
In fact, of all the couple arrangements Carlson studied, both the men and the women in traditional couples were the least satisfied with the quality of their relationships and their sex lives.
- …The new research, one of only a handful to look at child care and sex, challenges conventional wisdom and classic economic theory, that couples who have specific duties in the “separate spheres” of work and home are happiest and have more sex.
- …And now, an unfair division of labor between work and home is one of the biggest predictors of divorce.
- “Something rather miraculous has occurred in the last 20 years,” Carlson said. “Gender equality has become good for us.”
- …“Study after study shows that the trend in public opinion is increasingly toward a rejection of that traditional, separate spheres model, and a movement toward embracing shared responsibility for both paid and unpaid labor,” Carlson said. “A lot of this can boil down to people’s sense of fairness and satisfaction with their arrangements. If they’re satisfied and feel the division of labor is fair, that’s what leads to the positive outcomes in their relationships and sex lives.”
- …In fact, Carlson and his colleagues analyzed historical trends and found that the amount of sex people are having has been on the decline for years, except for those in egalitarian relationships.
- (( read the rest here ))