The Rumor: Girls love a guy who helps out at home
If you're the kinda gal (or guy) who thinks there's nothing more appealing than a man who cuts the grass, folds the laundry and shuttles the kids to lacrosse practice, you're not alone. So guys who help more at home get more at home, right? That makes sense, but then some are saying men who do chores get less sex than men who don't.
The Verdict: Helping around the house improves guys' chances, but not every chore counts
Interestingly enough, it seems a guy can bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan, but once he cleans the pan, women forget he’s a man. A study published in the American Sociological Review claims men who engage in "traditionally female labor" (dishes, laundry, etc.) get less sex than those who do not. But, the study also finds that, "A couple's sex life is governed by a gendered set of sexual scripts," meaning that men who do typical "guy" chores, such as mowing the grass, do, in fact, get lucky more often.
Ever since my husband got wind of this, he's been nervous to do the dishes, supervise homework or scrub the grizzle from the hamburger pan. "Does this mean I won’t get any?" he asks as he’s folding my gym shorts.
It’s not that we, ladies, prefer lazy men who drink beer and watch football. Get real. Does that image send you to the bedroom? The authors indicate that this whole huff might just involve a distinction between the kind of work we subconsciously categorize as "manly" versus the chores we want them to do -- but as they are doing them, something in the primitive parts of our brains alerts us that something is very off, so we quite literally turn off. Cutting grass? Peachy. Grilling steaks? Nice. Moving furniture? Awesome. Wearing the apron your mom sent him last Christmas as he begins to boil the noodles… um… yes, but no.
Are we just not as evolved as we thought? Could none of us be true feminists? As much as I want to participate in an egalitarian "peer marriage," will my brain not allow it?
I'll have to do my part to prove this study wrong in my household by rewarding my other half with a hot time for scrubbing the hamburger pans and folding my gym shorts, flowery apron be damned.