Photo: CBS 60 Minutes
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg took her “Lean In” message to 60 Minutes this evening.
In a powerful new book, Sandberg argues that women need to be more assertive in their careers, fighting against societal programming that conditions them to defer to men, scale back their ambitions, and essentially give up early.
This passivity, Sandberg argues, is the real reason there are so few women in positions of power.
In the context of this message, Sandberg noted that it is impossible to “have it all” as a woman–full career and full home life–if you’re also expected to do all of the housework and child care at home.
This is why a woman’s most important career decision, Sandberg says, is who you marry.
In a sales pitch presumably designed to get men to pick up more of the workload at home, Sandberg said on 60 Minutes that studies show that men who do more housework have more sex with their wives.
If that were true, it would certainly be interesting!
And it might result in men washing more dishes or cooking more meals.
A recent study suggests just the opposite:
Men who do more housework have less sex.
Importantly, the study does not suggest that doing housework somehow makes men less sexy or too busy or whatever.
Rather, the researchers suggest that men who do housework have less sex because men who do more traditional “man” chores like lawn-mowing and car-repair are more traditionally manly than men who do housework. And this traditional manliness apparently translates into a more aggressive sex drive.
Here’s the summary from the study, which was published last year by the American Sociological Association. It was written by Sabino Kornrich, Julie Brines, and Katrina Leupp:
Changes in the nature of marriage have spurred a debate about the consequences of shifts to more egalitarian relationships, and media interest in the debate has crystallized around claims that men who participate in housework get more sex.
However, little systematic or representative research supports the claim that women, in essence, exchange sex for men’s participation in housework.
Although research and theory support the expectation that egalitarian marriages are higher quality, other studies underscore the ongoing importance of traditional gender behaviour and gender display in marriage.
Using data from Wave II of the National Survey of Families and Households, this study investigates the links between men’s participation in core (traditionally female) and non-core (traditionally male) household tasks and sexual frequency. Results show that both husbands and wives in couples with more traditional housework arrangements report higher sexual frequency, suggesting the importance of gender display rather than marital exchange for sex between heterosexual married partners.
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