Earlier last month, a former emergency room physician shared his belief with CNN that people need a “stop day” — a 24-hour period of rest — or their bodies would face the consequences of poor health such as depression and anxiety.
The concept of a day of rest, where the body has time to slow down and rejuvenate, is a tradition rooted in Western and Biblical culture, according to Matthew Sleeth, author of “24/6: A Prescription for a Healthier, Happier Life.”
Today, a new study by a researcher at the Center for Advanced Studies at the Juan March Institute in Madrid, Spain breathes new life into another long-held tradition: the role of husbands and wives in marriage.
“Egalitarianism, Housework, and Sexual Frequency in Marriage” shatters the notion of the benefits gender equality provides for heterosexual men and women, specifically when it comes to marital sex.
According to the study, authored by Sabino Kornrich and co-authored by University of Washington researchers Julie Brines and Katrina Leupp, married couples where men and women display gender differences, not similarities, experience a greater degree of sexual frequency.
“Households in which men do more traditionally male labor and women do more traditionally female labor report higher sexual frequency,” the researchers noted in the study published in the February edition of the American Sociological Review.
“Among heterosexual couples, the relationship between housework and a couple’s sex life is governed by a gendered set of sexual scripts.”
Traditional male “non-core” tasks were defined as outdoor work, paying bills, auto maintenance, and driving.
Traditional female “core” tasks were defined as preparing meals, washing dishes, cleaning house, shopping, and washing and ironing.
The study’s findings are based on data compiled for Wave II of the National Survey of Families and Households conducted from 1992-1994. The national sample involved answers from respondents in more than 13,000 households.
Kornich and his co-authors believe this is the most current data available and that their findings would still be relevant if a similar sampling was conducted today.
“Given the durability of some features of marriage, including the gendered division of labor, we suspect our results would still hold despite the time that has passed since the data were collected,” the researchers observed.
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