Wednesday, April 09, 2008

On Cleaning Your Room And Sex

Two articles on marriage and who does the housework pretty much show the old pattern that women do a lot more hours of housework than men do, even if both have outside jobs, but also show the newer pattern that men are now doing more than their fathers did at home.

Of course that newer pattern is linked with the other newer pattern that women work in the marketplace for more hours than their mothers did.

I have written about the economics of housework before, so I will spare you this time around (or I'm too lazy to talk about it again). But it's interesting to note that one of the articles links housework by men to sex:

Husbands who pitch in around the house get more sex than those who won't help clean up, researchers say in a study that could turn lazy guys into Ty-D-Bol Men.

The mop-and-glow report by the Council on Contemporary Families suggests men who wash the sheets have a better chance of turning their wives on under them.

"If a guy does housework, it looks to the woman like he really cares about her - he's not treating her like a servant," said psychologist Joshua Coleman, who is affiliated with the Council.

Coleman cautioned that the flip side could be worse than scrubbing the toilet.

"If a women feels stressed-out because the house is a mess and the guy's sitting on the couch while she's vacuuming, that's not going to put her in the mood," said Coleman, author of "The Lazy Husband: How to Get Men to Do More Parenting and Housework."

I'm not sure what this quote is suggesting. Perhaps that housework is payment for sex? But the next part of it explains the fatigue aspect of excess housework and how it might make a person feel less interested in lovemaking.

What the quote doesn't suggest is that when two adults share a household and both work outside it an equal sharing of housework might make ethical sense. You know, fairness and all that.

But I do admit that a guy carefully wiping wiping windows on a hot day can look very delicious.