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Splitting childcare could improve your relationship and sex life

But it’s a balancing act.

Image: Shutterstock/Monkey Business Images

THOSE COUPLES WHO split childcare duties have better relationships and sex lives, a new study has said.

The research by Georgia State University sociologists was presented at the weekend’s annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.

Daniel L. Carlson, along with graduate students Sarah Hanson and Andrea Fitzroy used data from more than 900 heterosexual couples’ responses in the 2006 Marital Relationship Study (MARS).

The researchers found that when women were responsible for most or all of the child care, both parties reported both the lowest quality relationships and sex lives.

“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,” Carlson said.

They concluded that beyond splitting child care responsibilities equally, dads in a heterosexual relationship could take on the majority of child-care responsibility without negative effects on the quality of the couples’ relationships. These couples had just as much sex as couples with egalitarian arrangements, and were just as satisfied with the amount of sex they were having.

“What we find is that there’s generally little to no downside to men being largely responsible for child care,” Carlson said.

There is one caveat, however.

Carlson said that when men do the majority of the child care, their female partners exhibited the highest overall satisfaction with their sex lives, but men demonstrated the lowest overall satisfaction with their sex lives.

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