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J Fam Psychol. 2016 Mar;30(2):203-13. doi: 10.1037/fam0000161. Epub 2015 Oct 12.

Skip the dishes? Not so fast! Sex and housework revisited.

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Department of Human Ecology, University of Alberta.
Department of Psychology, University of Alberta.
School of Family Studies and Human Services, Kansas State University.


Using data from 1,338 couples who remained partnered over the first 5 waves of the German Panel Analysis of Intimate Relationships and Family Dynamics (pairfam) project, this study investigated longitudinal associations between male partner contributions to housework and couple sexual satisfaction and frequency. The effect of 2 housework variables was examined: male partners' share of housework and perceived fairness of male partners' housework contributions. Results from a series of autoregressive cross-lagged models revealed no direct or indirect longitudinal associations between male partner share of housework and sexual frequency or satisfaction. Rather, when male partners reported making a fair contribution to housework, the couple experienced more frequent sexual encounters, and each partner reported higher sexual satisfaction 1 year later. This study provides a robust counterpoint to recent findings suggesting that men's participation in housework is harmful to a couple's sex life.

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