Want More Sex? What Research Shows About Child Care Division And Libido

Photo via flickr by Jon Rawlinson
Photo via flickr by Jon Rawlinson

Something All Moms Know, But No One Ever Asked

New research from Georgia State University has shown that there might be a strong connection between the frequency and satisfaction of sexual activity, and the ratio of child care division between partners.

The study took 2006 data from over 400 heterosexual couples (same-sex couples were not analyzed) and categorized child care division into three categories: couples where the mom did all or most of the child care, couples where the dad did most of the child care, and couples where childcare was more or less divided equally between partners.

Let’s now pause for a quick quiz. Can you guess which type of couple experienced the greatest level of satisfaction sexually?

If you guessed the ones with equal responsibility, you’re right! And of course that’s what you guessed, because, if you have kids, that is the only way you can imagine that both partners will get enough time away from the kids to recharge their sex drives.

Another finding that will shock absolutely no one is that the bottom-of-the-barrel satisfaction levels came from when the mom took the lion’s share of kiddo time.

Study co-author Daniel L. Carlson says,

“The difference that we find is really between arrangements where the mother is largely responsible for child care and everything else.”

That’s rough news for most families, including families with both parents working. There is a phenomenon called “The Second Shift” usually experienced by working moms, in which they still perform most of the unpaid domestic labor, including child care. Even a recent survey shows that moms in dual-income families still report doing most of the domestic work. Child-free couples are surely smiling at this study.

Men who were the primary caregivers reported the lowest levels of sexual satisfaction, perhaps showing that caring for kids is a major libido zapper, regardless of which parent is at home.

The highest reported satisfaction by men (and second-highest by women) is when duties are shared equally, showing that both moms’ and dads’ libidos get a boost from having some QT with their kiddos, just not too much.