Equal Sharing: A Good Marriage with Great Sex
Shortly after Valentine's Day, the Boston Globe published an historical look at marriage - who is likely to marry, who is likely to be happy while married, and which married couples are likely to have a great sex life. The author, marriage historian Stephanie Coontz, takes the reader on a tour of research over the past 50+ years, and debunks some myths that still get play today. The full story is definitely worth reading.
But what really got us excited was direct mention of how men and women in egalitarian marriages - where men take on their share of housework and childcare, and women are equal breadwinners - are the happiest, the most sexually satisfied, and the least likely to divorce. We've thought this all along, of course!
Here are some direct quotes:
'One reason educated women are more likely to marry today than in the past is that modern men are less threatened by equality and more interested in finding a mate who can share the burdens of breadwinning.'
'College graduates are more likely to have egalitarian ideas about sharing housework and breadwinning, and recent research shows that egalitarian ideas and behaviors improve marital satisfaction for both men and women.'
'Educated husbands are also more likely to help with housework, which turns out to be a potent aphrodisiac. Psychologist John Gottman, professor emeritus at the University of Washington in Seattle, found that when men do more housework, their wives are more likely to be "in the mood" for sex.'
'Studies have shown that men whose attitudes become more egalitarian during their marriage report higher marital satisfaction, and so do their wives; they also have better sex lives and more socially aware children.'
While this study focuses on how a highly educated woman is now closer to an ideal partner than ever before, I think that it is really saying that equality makes a great context for marriage. Care to join us?
I have to say, seeing my husband has done laundry or made dinner without being asked to does indeed put me in an amorous mood!
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