Lifestyle

Relationships, and Sex Lives, Benefit When Men Share Child Care

Men who share in child-care duties are more likely to have better relationships — with more satisfying sex lives — than those who do not help, new research shows.

The finding is notable because past research has suggested that couples who share breadwinning and housework duties are more likely to divorce. But those studies used older data and did not examine child care, said Daniel L. Carlson, an assistant professor of sociology at Georgia State University and the lead author of the new study.

“One of the most important findings is that the only child-care arrangement that appears really problematic is when the woman does most or all of the child care,” Dr. Carlson said. “They fight more, there’s more conflict, they’re less happy with the relationship, and both men and women are dissatisfied with how much sex they’re having.”

The new findings, presented at the American Sociological Association’s annual meeting in Chicago, are based on data from about 487 low- to moderate-income heterosexual married couples with children who took part in a 2006 study on marriages and relationships.

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