Couples Who Divide Chores May Have Better Sex Lives

A couple washing dishes togetherCouples who evenly split household labor have more frequent and higher quality sex, according to a study published online in the Journal of Family Psychology. The latest research contradicts a 2012 study suggesting men who do stereotypically “female” tasks have less sex.

Housework consistently ranks among the leading sources of conflict for married couples, and research shows that men still do less, on average, than women. A previous study that looked at a representative sample of the population found that husbands create seven additional hours of housework per week for their wives. Thus many therapists and other marriage experts were surprised when researchers began claiming that fair contributions to housework undermine a couple’s sex life. The latest research may offer hope to women who want their partners to do more to help around the house.

More Housework, More Sex?

Matt Johnson, a family ecology professor at the University of Alberta, combed through data from a five-year study of 1,338 heterosexual German couples. He found no connection between the amount of housework the man did and the couple’s sex life.

However, when Johnson looked at how men felt about their contributions, a pattern emerged. Men who reported that the division of labor in their house was fair had more frequent and more satisfying sex with their partners. Even a year later, both partners reported that men’s fair contributions to household labor produced better and more frequent sex.

Johnson acknowledges that gender roles in Germany tend to be more restrictive than in the United States, with German men typically doing slightly less housework than their American counterparts. Johnson expected a more pronounced negative impact of household chores on the sex lives of men in Germany, but he found the opposite was true. Based on his research, Johnson says American men may benefit just as much as German men by doing more work around the house.


  1. Chore wars: Men, women, and housework. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  2. Johnson, M., Galambos, N., & Anderson, J. (2015). Skip the Dishes? Not So Fast! Sex and Housework Revisited. Journal of Family Psychology.
  3. New study suggests fair division of chores leads to better sex life. (2015, November 2). Retrieved from
  4. Parrot, L., & Parrot, L. (2013, May 13). The 5 biggest areas of conflict for couples. Retrieved from
  5. Rochman, B. (2013, January 30). Why husbands who share household chores miss out on sex – Retrieved from

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  • Glynn


    November 3rd, 2015 at 2:35 PM

    Because the women feel appreciated AND they have more time to think about sex than they do when all they see is a huge list of chores ahead of them!

  • chase


    November 4th, 2015 at 7:15 AM

    This just feels like the thing to do now that it is the 21st century you know. I do not understand those couples who always hang onto old habits and do things the way their parents did. Why? because this is what they saw growing up? I guess, but you know, there comes a time when you need to move forward.

  • Rita


    November 5th, 2015 at 7:51 AM

    So let’s replicate this study in the US and see how couples fare here

  • caraD


    November 6th, 2015 at 10:39 AM

    I honestly think that this actually has very little to do with chores and housework. What I do think is that it all comes down to partners having respect for each other. It is not about I cleaned the toilet so you do the laundry. It is about another person seeing all that you do in the home and wanting to be a part of that and contribute. I do that for my man all the time and he does it for me and it so nice to have someone who cares enough to pitch in even with the yucky stuff from time to time.

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