« The 45 degree line means Y=min{Yd,Ys} | Main | Missing the Target in Canada »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I'm with you all the way up to the end, you make an assumption about the likelihood of staying married related to the sharing of chores. A quick google search returned a couple of reports saying the opposite. Not saying they are correct, they likely aren't, it is just that logic doesn't always work when talking about relationships. I think it is unlikely that any one trait/indicator has a large effect on something as complex and dynamic as a relationship between two people.

I know that in my marriage I get much better rewards from installing a garage door opener or fixing a banister than I do from cleaning up after supper.

Mike - Agree on the lack of evidence for a systematic relationship between equal sharing and marital stability. Basically in a more equal relationship it's easier for the woman to walk away, and more often it's the woman who walks away than the man.

The basic point, though, is that one of the key purposes of marriage as a social institution is to legitimize sex. People who are able to get and stay married - whatever it takes to do that - are more likely to get lucky (at least occasionally) than people who aren't.

What's funny is that the researchers have no way of knowing how often the couples would be having sex if the man stopped doing the dishes. My guess is, however little they're having now, they'd be having even less if one party become more uncooperative.

"Happy wife, happy life." Or, in more neutral terms, "happy spouse, happy house."

It's almost certainly true that the majority of heterosexual wives want their husbands to be manly. So do the dishes like a man. Best of both worlds.

Their story doesn't hold together. Baseline libido varies from person to person, and has more to do with biology than dishes and laundry. It also occurs to me that changing family circumstances and major events have bigger, but transient, effects. Most couples I know long ago worked-out who does what housework, and it quickly becomes a non-issue; too many other things that need one's attention.

Great article, Frances. It's also worth pointing out the other endogeneity problem: household chores are not randomly assigned; it's plausible that the same unobserved factors which influence chores also influence sexual frequency (e.g., maybe good-looking men do fewer chores because we, I mean, they, can capture more of the marital surplus, and maybe also have more sex). Put another way, the authors' and NYT's interpretation that any given marriage would experience more sex if the man did less housework does not follow from the evidence presented.

Frequency is only one dimension. How about duration? Intensity?

Chris Auld is stuck in spam.

RPLong "do the dishes like a man" - love it! There is some truth in this, too - the kind of Gordon Ramsey/Mark Bittman masculine approach to cuisine.

Chris - thanks for your comments. Yes, endogeneity, absolutely. Also spurious correlation. In this data set, women reported higher sexual frequencies on average than men did. They also reported lower male shares for core household chores. This difference in reporting alone explains some of the sexual freuqency/household chores correlation.

Sandwichman, just the idea of marital sex is traumatic enough for gentle readers. My students are always stunned/horrified by the above picture when I show it to them (to which my response is "why do you think people get married anyways?!?") Let's not go there! (or, at least, not here.)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Search this site

  • Google

Blog powered by Typepad