Tag Archives: housework

Housework-hurts-sex study causes a dust up

Brenda Goodman

About Brenda Goodman

Brenda Goodman (@GoodmanBrenda), an Atlanta-based freelancer, is AHCJ’s topic leader on medical studies, curating related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on medical study resources and tip sheets at brenda@healthjournalism.org.

You may have seen — and let’s face it — given a giant eye roll to a recent studythat claimed men who helped out with chores traditionally deemed the province of women, i.e. laundry, dishes, and dusting, had less sex than men who cut the grass and changed the oil but generally left the more feminine chores to their wives.

Health reporters cried foul.

One of the best ledes came from The Telegraph’s Michael Hanlon:

The relationship between sex, marriage and gender roles is so complex that unravelling it makes the work of the Large Hadron Collider look like playschool.

Hanlon’s story had plenty of strengths, including a quote from an expert who questioned the reliability of the data:

The fact is that people lie about, or at least misremember, how much housework they do almost as much as they lie about the amount of sex they are having.

His expert also pointed out that the two variables – sex and housework – might correlate, but may not necessarily be causal. Continue reading