According to a study which was presented at the 110th edition of the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association couples may enjoy better sex when they share child care responsibilities. The research was conducted by researchers from Georgia State University who have reviewed data from the 2006 Marital Relationship Study.
The team of sociologists used data about 487 heterosexual couples for the study. All of the participants had children. They were divided in three different categories: a group in which the mother did most of the child care responsibilities, a group in which the father did most of the child care responsibilities and a group in which the child care duties were equally shared between the parents. In order to establish the quality of the couples’ relationship the participants reported things such as conflict and satisfaction in their relationship and how often they had sex and how it felt.
The scientists defined three aspects of child care: passive child care meaning monitoring and supervision, interactive child care and physical or emotional child care. Besides this researchers also looked at four separate tasks: giving praise, playing, making rules and enforcing them.
In the group where the father was the only one who dealt with child care responsibilities and the group where the responsibilities were shared the sexual satisfaction and frequency and relationship satisfaction were the same. The lowest relationship and sex life quality was reported in the group where mothers had to deal with child care duties on their own.
Co-author of the study Daniel L. Carlson declared:
The important point to be made is that when we’re looking at child care, the difference that we find is really between arrangements where the mother is largely responsible for child care and everything else.”
Another significant discovery was the fact that in the group where the father was responsible for most of the child care even though women reported to be satisfied with their sex life men had lower overall satisfaction.
The researchers admit that one limitation of the study was the fact that it did not involve same-sex couples. Further research will focus on finding out why couples which share child care duties experience a higher relationship and sex life quality.
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