It's time to split the duties evenly.
If your partner is notorious for skipping out on chores, the results of a new study might motivate him to chip in. According to researchers at the University of Alberta, couples enjoy more frequent (and more satisfying!) sex when men believe they are making a fair contribution to housework.
The researchers examined data from a five-year study of 1,338 German couples. They considered two variables: a male partner’s actual share of housework, as well as the men's perception of whether he contributed his fair share. The paper, entitled "Skip the Dishes? Not so Fast! Sex and Housework Revisited" will be published in a future issue of the Journal of Family Psychology.
While the amount of housework the male partner completed was not found to be a predictor of the couple’s sex life, when men perceived their contribution to be equal, the couple reported being more satisfied with their sex life. What's considered "equal" likely differs for every couple, the researchers said.
"In any relationship, the amount of housework is going to mean something different based on the couple's context, based on their own expectations for what each partner should be doing, and their comparison levels of what happens with other couples they know," Dr. Matt Johnson, the head researcher, said in a statement.
The research contradicts a 2012 study that showed that when men perform traditionally "female" chores, such as cooking and laundry, the couple had less sex. However, the new findings are in line with recent research that suggested couples who shared childcare duties had the best (and most active) sex lives.
One caveat of the research? The study was performed on German couples, so cultural differences likely exist—though German men, on average, do less housework than American men.