Issue 12  •  Spring 2013

The Importance of Being Precise and Up-to-date
Posted on  February 20th, 2013
by Justina Tran

TIME recently released an article entitled, “Why Husbands Who Share Household Chores Miss Out on Sex” which reports that, “New research finds that husbands and wives who assign housework along traditional gender lines have more sex than those who split the chores more equitably.”

Um, excuse me? Did the author of this article forget that “correlation does not imply causation”? She should have opened her article saying that there may simply be an association. I wish that mistake were the only major flaw in the article, but unfortunately it’s not.

In addition, the author fails to be conscious of her questionable word choice. She writes that husbands/dads “get more sex” twice in the article as if sex were some type of privilege that women graciously bestow upon men. Nope, I don’t think so. Such misleading and ignorant diction… I shake my head at you, TIME editors.

The sociologists who reviewed the data have glaring faults, as well (so it’s not entirely the author’s fault that the article is deceiving). They fail to clearly define what “stereotypically female tasks” are exactly. The author guessed at what these tasks were, but it’s hard to believe a study when these key terms are rather vague. I would also think that the age of these married couples matters. Perhaps these “female tasks” are physically demanding of someone in their late fifties. I’d imagine that fatigue would play a significant role in why there may be less sex.

In the article, the author mentions, “The national survey data was collected between 1992 and 1994, but Brines and her co-authors say that the relationship between sex and housework has changed little since then.” Hold on a minute! What kind of sociologists would claim that households have hardly changed in the past ten years, let alone nineteen to twenty-one years? I want to verify their credentials. Perhaps the findings of this study could be taken slightly more seriously if they updated their survey data, pronto. Even then, the study is still far-fetched.

Although the article is laden with poor word choice and based on findings by dubious sociologists, there’s at least one thing I agree with, “After all, a great sex life isn’t everything.” Right on.

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