In a time when most people support basic measures of gender equality, including equal pay for equal work and laws that protect rape victims, marriage is still one area where traditional gender roles rule. Numerous surveys have found that women do significantly more than their fair share of household labor and childcare, even when they work full-time.
Books like the Mars and Venus series tell us that we should accept differences between men and women and treat them as natural. But all too often, these books are really asking that we accept unacceptable behavior and treat it as normal.
Several studies have found a strong correlation between gender equality and a happy marriage, and improving the balance of power in your relationship very well may improve your overall satisfaction.
Division of Chores
Chores are a common area of conflict between men and women. Most women are socialized to invest in the cleanliness and appearance of their home, and many men are raised in families where the woman does most of the chores.
These dynamics play out in their marriage. But doing the majority of the chores interferes with a woman’s ability to pursue other interests and can encourage a man to think of his wife as a free laborer. Even worse, many men often do not realize that the division of labor is unequal, which can cause resentment in wives who feel unappreciated.
A survey of 2,000 married couples found that equal division of labor was the third best predictor of marital satisfaction. Couples who did chores together experienced less frustration around household work and were happier in their relationships.
Many couples think that if they’re having sex regularly, they have a happy sex life. But sexual satisfaction goes much further than this.
As many as 70 percent of women cannot climax without direct clitoral stimulation, and this poses a problem for their sexual satisfaction. When sex centers around intercourse, it creates a gender imbalance in sexual pleasure and can lead to decreased libido in women and sexual frustration in men.
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