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While it may not be rocket science to many moms, a study confirms that dads who perform more child-care duties have more sex. Yes, that's right, when men take on more of the day-to-day tasks of childrearing, their relationships flourish.
Researchers studied more than 900 heterosexual couples as part of the 2006 Marital Relationship Study and split up the couples into three groups—one where the mom did most of the child care, one where men did most of the child care and one were the responsibilities were shared. The couples were then asked about their relationship satisfaction and the number of times they have sex each week. And the least-satisfied group was clear.
When women were responsible for most (60 percent or more) of the child-care duties, both the man and the woman reported the lowest-quality relationship and sex life. However couples who shared the duties or where the dad was taking on most of the work, were reporting the same amount of satisfaction at the amount of sex they were having. This led researchers to conclude that there's no real downside to letting dads take on more of the work.
According to the study's co-author, assistant professor of sociology Daniel L. Carlson, "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."
And the fact that both parties report great satisfaction with the other arrangements leads researchers to conclude that things only look up when men are more responsible for child care and "that being an engaged father is very important to men. If it weren't, we wouldn't see such a high level of satisfaction. It suggests that father engagement and sharing child care with one's partner is important to both sexes."