There’s an important article in the latest American Sociological Review which The Scrapbook passes along in the interest of disseminating scientific knowledge. What you do with that knowledge is your own business. The paper is titled, “Egalitarianism, Housework, and Sexual Frequency in Marriage.” Here is the abstract:

Changes in the nature of marriage have spurred a debate about the consequences of shifts to more egalitarian relationships, and media interest in the debate has crystallized around claims that men who participate in housework get more sex. However, little systematic or representative research supports the claim that women, in essence, exchange sex for men’s participation in housework. Although research and theory support the expectation that egalitarian marriages are higher quality, other studies underscore the ongoing importance of traditional gender behavior and gender display in marriage. Using data from Wave II of the National Survey of Families and Households, this study investigates the links between men’s participation in core (traditionally female) and non-core (traditionally male) household tasks and sexual frequency. Results show that both husbands and wives in couples with more traditional housework arrangements report higher sexual frequency, suggesting the importance of gender display rather than marital exchange for sex between heterosexual married partners.

The Scrapbook is reminded of the old line, often attributed to Henry Kissinger: “No one will ever win the battle of the sexes. Too much fraternizing with the enemy.”

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