Married Couples With Traditional Gender Roles Have More Sex

(Image Credit: Nationaal Archief)

A new study in the American Sociological Review by the University of Washington, says “that households in which men do more traditionally male labor and women do more traditionally female labor report higher sexual frequency.”

The study begins with a statistic stating that “from the 1960s to the beginning of the twenty-first century, men’s contribution to housework doubled, increasing from about 15 to over 30 percent of the total.”  Past studies have taken this data and deduced that sex is being used by women as an exchange for housework. But those studies neglected to take into consideration what types of housework the husbands were doing.

The new study found that couples who divvy up housework along traditional gender lines – wives “preparing meals, washing dishes, cleaning house, shopping, and washing and ironing” and husbands doing “outdoor work, paying bills, auto maintenance, and driving” have more sex.

What I found particularly interesting about the study was a reference to another study by Pepper Schwartz on how “heterosexual attraction and intimacy seem to be organized around the enactment of difference or complementarity between the sexes” and “that egalitarianism in committed heterosexual adult relationships is associated with occasional boredom and a “sibling-like” tonality to the relationship that undermines sexual desire.”  He says that “introducing more distance or difference, rather than connection and similarity, helps to resurrect passion in long-term, stable relationships.”

“Occasional boredom and a “sibling-like” tonality to the relationship that undermines sexual desire”?

Wow.  That’s a jarring observation.  But it’s true.

Heterosexual men aren’t sexually attracted to masculinity and heterosexual women aren’t sexually attracted to femininity.  The reason it creates boredom is because it removes the beauty and intrigue, that lies within the mystery of the opposite sex.

“Sibling-like” tonality is problematic because it’s unnatural for siblings to be sexually attracted to each other.  Of course sexual frequency is less when a man feels like he’s married to his sister or a woman to her brother.

This is an interesting study, but let me be clear: the bible does not specifically state who should be preparing meals, washing dishes, cleaning the house, shopping, washing and ironing, or who should be doing outdoor work, paying bills, auto maintenance, and driving.  That’s for each couple to sort out together.

But the bible does teach distinctly different complimentary gender roles.  And because those gender roles were created by God, there will always be something inherently attractive to men about true femininity and something inherently attractive to women about true masculinity, which when practiced by a couple in marriage, will inevitably lead to more sex.

About Josh Christophersen

Josh is a software engineer, church planter, and blogger with a passion for helping people do their life well. He lives in KC with his wife and 7 kids.

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