Study Shows Dads Who Help Out With the Kids Have More Sex (So Change a Diaper, Dads!)

dad change babyToday in news that should be obvious to everyone but apparently isn't: A new study shows that couples who share childcare responsibilities equally have happier relationships and more satisfying sex lives than those in which moms take on the majority of kid-related duties.


Sociologists at Georgia State University divided 487 heterosexual couples into three groups: one where the women were responsible for most or all of the child care, one where the men did most or all of the child care, and one group where child care responsibilities were "more or less shared." According to the results of the study, the "lowest quality relationships and sex lives" were reported in the group where the women did the most childcare, while the highest were reported in the group were childcare duties were shared (in relationships where men were responsible for the bulk of child care, women reported the highest overall satisfaction with their sex lives but men reported the lowest overall satisfaction with theirs, unsurprisingly).

According to assistant professor of sociology Daniel L. Carlson, a study coauthor, the findings suggest "that father engagement and sharing child care with one's partner is important to both sexes."

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Well, sure! Like I said: news that should be obvious to everyone but apparently isn't. OF COURSE couples are going to get along better (and, consequently, have better/more sex) if both parties feel like the other is doing their fair share of work. It's when the balance gets all thrown out of whack that moms (and dads, apparently) start feeling overwhelmed, resentful, and exhausted -- and feeling overwhelmed, resentful, and exhausted puts absolutely no one in the mood, that's for sure. Of course moms and dads who are equal partners in child rearing are going to appreciate each other more; they're also less likely to be pushed to their absolute limit individually. And I'm going to assume here that household chores fall under the category of "childcare responsibilities," because that's another aspect of parenting that often falls mostly to moms. (Yes, I know there are dads out there who do the majority of the housework, but generally speaking.) 

Now, this is not to say that dividing childcare responsibilities equally is easy -- it's not. And depending on career demands, etc., there are undoubtedly going to be times for every couple when it seems like one person is doing more kid stuff than the other. But if I had to condense all of these findings into one sentence, it would be this: Guys, if you want to up the quality/quantity of sexy time in your lives, then help out with the kids. Put the baby to bed. Help your son with his homework. Do your daughter's laundry. Show up for parent-teacher conferences. It's pretty basic, really, and should be common sense. (Oh, and while this study specifically looked at the habits of heterosexual couples, I can't imagine it's any different for gay parents.)

Parents need to be partners. End of story. Otherwise everything's gonna get all screwed up.


Image via nano/iStock

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