Wednesday, January 7, 2009

More Housework = More Sex for the Guys?

A recent study I read claimed that men who do more housework might get more sex, since the message they're sending is that they don't see their wife or partner as a servant, though I must say that no "hard" statistics were offered. Who does these surveys, anyway? Seems like some of them need to be taken with a big grain of salt!

Another study by the Council on Contemporary Families claimed that men’s contributions to household work went from 15% of it in the 1960s to 30% of it in the past decade. I often wonder whether calculations of how much time which gender spends on what household chores counts the work done around the outside of the home as well as inside. Does cleaning gutters, snowblowing, minor electrical and plumbing repairs and such “count” as housework? In my mind, these type of tasks should count; I haven’t spent a single second of my entire long marriage engaged in these traditionally “male” tasks. I confess I’m glad not to have to do them.

Yet another poll cited by Psychology Today found that 40% of American women would prefer to return to to 1950s-style gender roles. While part of me is horrified by this statistic, another part of me thinks, “Return? Have we ever really left?” And for all my talk about equality, I’d much rather make dinner than repair the roof.


Anonymous said...

As a member of the generation who dedicated years (and, yes, blood, sweat and tears) to equalizing gender roles, I'm appalled and disheartened by the Psychology Today poll. Nevertheless, I do support certain sex-determined tasks.
We live by a creek and sometimes find dead rodents in our yard--definitely a male problem. Anything that requires holding one's nose (other than baby diapers) or donning hip boots to deal with belongs to the male of the species. And I'm totally useless in the mechanical department.
So I guess, despite our efforts to the contrary, Mother Nature preordained her share of sex-specific rolls. And I, for one, am glad she did!

Anonymous said...

I, too, happen to do many of the more traditionally female roles around my house--cooking most meals, laundry, neatening the house--and my husband does most of the more traditionally male outdoor tasks. I am sometimes chagrined that we have fallen into these tidy sex roles, but the point for me is that we chose to divide these tasks this way--through discussion or natural selection based on our respective strengths.

I still hate the idea of returning to rigid gender roles, even though I fall into some stereotypes, because the whole point is choice, and rigid roles remove choice. I would hope nothing would be considered inherently "male" or "female" until two people come together and decide how to best accomplish the tasks needed to maintain their life together.

Anonymous said...

I can't help but wonder, "who are that 40 per cent??" I simply cannot IMAGINE living the way my mother did (and she was even pretty liberated for HER generation!). In our house, my honey does the laundry and I do the groceries, which seemed a fair split to me. He hates to cook, though, but splits dish duty with me 50-50. If I really sat down to work it out, I might even find that he does more "housework" than I do, though for some reason, it still doesn't seem like enough--I'm always the one who's behind on work and running out of time, while he seems to find time to watch TV in the evenings.

At least, these days, we do have dads willing to stay at home with the kids (even if very few) and men acknowledge that they should be doing housework, even if they don't actually do it.

Sparkless said...

I live in a household where the gender roles are a bit reversed. My husband does a large portion of the cooking, and he's way better at it than I am. He's useless with the usual "male chores" so I take them on. I've found that most of the male chores are way easier and more fun than cooking every night. Now that's a chore I'm glad I don't have to do.

Anonymous said...

I like to quote Wanda Sykes along the lines of "Nothing puts me in the mood like a sink free of dirty dishes..." Funny that she turned out to be gay.