The first Correlation of the Week for 2010 is awarded to Constance Gager, from Montclair State University, and Scott Yabiku, from Arizona State University, who discovered that wives and husbands who spend more hours in housework and paid work report more frequent sex. They theorise that women and men who "work hard" also "play hard."
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The report, Who Has the Time? The Relationship Between Household Labor Time and Sexual Frequency, published in the Journal of Family Issues, documented a survey of 6,877 married couples which showed that couples who devote lots of time to work and chores still make time for sex. The results contradict the idea that time spent on household chores reduces the opportunity for sex - worth remembering next time this particular excuse is used...
The authors controlled the results for "gender ideology" - that is, they controlled for the various viewpoints people have on their relationships. For example, a wife with a 1950s mentality might regard doing lots of housework and having frequent sex as part of her marital responsibilities. The housework-sex link was found to exist no matter what views each member held.
Housework was defined as:
- preparing meals,
- washing dishes,
- washing and ironing clothes,
- driving family members around,
- yard work,
- maintaining cars,
- paying bills.
Couples who spent more time in paid work also reported more sex. This led the authors to conclude that "individuals may be achievers across multiple spheres." They theorise that as life gets busier and time gets tighter, some couples can successfully balance their time commitments to make time for sex.
So there you have it, couples who make time to do their household chores also make time for loving. More at The Sydney Morning Herald and The Wall Street Journal. And for more weird and wonderful correlations, see our Correlation of the Week tag.