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Hey, fellas, put down those vacuum cleaners and pull out the lawn mowers.
Married men may think helping around the house may up their hotness quotient in the bedroom, but what really matters is the type of chore. Heterosexual married men who spend their time doing yard work, paying bills and changing the oil have more sex than husbands who spend their time cooking, cleaning and shopping, according to a new study on the subject of housework and sex.
"Households with a more traditional gender division of labor report higher sexual frequency than households with less traditional gender divisions of labor," says Sabino Kornrich, lead author of a study that appears in the February issue of the American Sociological Review. "Housework is something that people use as a very important way to express gender, masculinity and femininity. We weren't surprised to think that sex might be more tied to this type of gender expression."
Other studies have found that men who make the bed also get to romp around in it more often. But Kornrich and his research team from the Center for Advanced Studies at the Juan March Institute in Madrid wanted to test claims that women might "exchange" sex for men's participation in housework.
As it turned out, they found a statistically significant difference between men who did no "core housework" -- that is, chores that are typically identified with women -- and men who regularly handled the cooking, cleaning and laundry. Their findings came from data collected from Wave II of the National Survey of Families and Households, or NSFH, a 1996 national survey conducted by James Sweet and Larry Bumpass. Although the comprehensive study is almost 20 years old, Kornrich believes the household division of labor hasn't changed much and the data still apply.
"For couples in which men did no 'core' housework, sexual frequency was 4.8 times per month," says Kornrich. "For couples in which men did all of the 'core' housework, sexual frequency was 3.2 times per month."