New research has found that couples who share housework equally enjoy a better sexual relationship than those where one of the couple does the majority of the housework.
The study, published in Journal of Marriage and Family in August 2016, was conducted by the University of Utah, the University of Indianapolis, Cornell University and Georgia State University. It analysed data from the 2006 Marital and Relationship Survey, conducted in the Unites States.
Using responses from nearly 500 heterosexual couples with children, the study found that couples who equally shared household tasks such as preparing and cooking meals, washing dishes, cleaning around the house, shopping for groceries, and doing laundry had sex more often and enjoyed higher levels of satisfaction with their sex life than couples in which one partner did the majority of the work. In fact, couples with the worst sex life were those where the man did the majority of the housework.
The study also compared data from a similar survey conducted 20 years ago. Things were different then. In the 1990s, couples who equally shared household chores had less sex than those in traditional roles, where the woman did the majority of the housework. According to the researchers, changing societal views on women's and men's roles may be responsible for the difference between the two surveys.
The 2016 results appear to be driven by modern-day expectations of fairness in relationships. If both people are happy with the division of housework, they report being more satisfied with their relationship and this leads to more sexual intimacy.
But it appears that many couples could be having a better sex life. The study revealed that in seven out of 10 couples, the woman did the majority of housework. If more men did their fair share in the kitchen it could result in more action in the bedroom.
The take away? Romance is not about grand gestures. It's about the things you do every day to show your partner you care.