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Is it true that men who clean get less sex?

As if men needed another excuse or reason to not chip in with housework, a recent study claims that married men who help with domestic chores get less sexo. Who comes up with this excremento de toro? The researchers at the Center for Advanced Studies at the Juan March Institute in Madrid, that’s who.

The study, titled “Egalitarianism, Housework, and Sexual Frequency in Marriage”, published in the February issue of the American Sociological Review, was a collaboration between Spanish and American researchers and is based on data from surveys conducted on 4,500 heterosexual married U.S. couples. According to the findings, men who perform traditionally “female” chores like cooking, cleaning, and shopping get less nooky than men who only perform “manly” chores like yard work, repairs, car maintenance or paying bills.

In households where the woman did all of the traditionally female chores, couples reported having sex 1.6 times more in a month than couples where the man also performed female chores. Oh wow, 1.6 times more, drop those brooms guys! That’s huge – not. Interestingly, the study also revealed that women do more of the traditionally male chores than men do traditionally female chores.

The data was collected from 1992 to 1994, which makes me wonder how relevant or accurate this decades-old research is today. There are also many studies in the last few years claiming the exact opposite, so it seems like these studies are heavily flawed.

There are a lot of factors that influence how much men and women do around the house, what kind of chores they do, and how often they have sex. Take for example many Latino cultures, where the man isn’t expected to do any of the traditionally female household chores. These machista tendencies are still alive and kicking in many households, even for Latinos living in the U.S.

You also have to take into consideration the amount of hours each person works outside of the home. My husband works an average of ten hours per day, six days a week. So even if he wanted to help out more with everyday cleaning or cooking, he’s hardly home during the week. He doesn’t do the traditionally male chores either – we have a landscaper and a pool guy. He does stop at the supermarket frequently on his way home from work to pick up groceries.

If the woman works longer hours and the man takes over cleaning and cooking, maybe he’s getting less sex – not even that much less – not because he’s doing these chores, but because his wife comes home after a long day of work to do chores as well and is just too tired to get it on.  After all, the study does say that women do more chores overall.

The distribution of housework and its relationship to sexual frequency isn’t as clear cut as these studies want to suggest. As far as I’m concerned, watching a man fold your laundry, cook you a delicious meal and then clean the dishes would be super, duper sexy. And if he’s wearing an apron, ¡ay, ay, ay!

About Adriana Villavicencio

Dr. Adriana Villavicencio is the youngest child of Ecuadorian immigrants. She has moved 29 times in her life, taking her on a journey from California to Bangalore, India, and New York City, where she recently earned a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and works as a Research Associate at New York University. An avid traveler, Adriana has collected experiences in four different continents and 16 different countries. But as a former high school English teacher, some of her fondest memories are those of her brilliant and brilliantly funny students in Brooklyn and Oakland. Adriana has contributed to several publications including the Daily News and, and is a managing editor for the Journal of Equity in Education. She earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English Education at Columbia University, and currently serves on the board of Columbia’s Latino Alumni Association (LAACU). She enjoys scary movies with red vines, Sauvignon Blanc, and her Maltese dog, Napoleon.

To learn more about Adriana’s education consulting company, please visit

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.

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