What Does the Correlation Mean?

A study was recently published in the Journal of Family Issues that found that men who live with their girlfriends are more likely to help in household chores than similarly situated married men. This finding raises significant questions. Are men who decide to move in with their girl friends more liberal in their social attitudes and consequently less likely to assume traditional male roles? Do men who live with their girlfriends assume that the relationship is provisional and are thus on their best behavior? In married life, do men feel a greater responsibility to provide for their families and are consequently too exhausted by work to contribute as much to household maintenance than they otherwise might be?

Deeper in the report is the curious datum that men who help out around the house find that their mates are more eager to engage in sex. The implicit suggestion to men is that if you are more helpful around the house you might be rewarded by a more energetic mate willing to have sex more frequently.

Neil Chethik another sociologist was was quoted by US News as averring, “If men are interested in keeping their sex life vibrant, they may help to wash the dishes and vacuum every now and then…”’

The study in the Journal of Family Issues was written by two woman and only one man, so the alternative explanation might not come quickly to mind. Allow me to humbly submit that the causation in the housework-help-to-sex correlation might be in the opposite direction. A willingness on the part of women to engage in more frequent and boisterous sex might put men in such a positive frame of mind that they are enthusiastic about helping their mate around the house. Just a suggestion.

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