Skepchick Quickies 1.30

Skepchick Quickies 1.30

Today in the US has been designated as National Croissant Day. If you haven’t already celebrated, you know what to do.

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By Mary
Mary Brock is a scientist who works on drugs you've hopefully never heard of. She enjoys cooking to Blue Grass music, messing with her cats, and hosting the Boston Skeptics' Book Club. She was born in the South but loves living in New England (despite the lack of chocolate chip pizza). Mary does not use Twitter and don't even try to follow her, because she is always looking over her shoulder.

18 Comments

  1. Even if (big IF, there) having a man doing “women’s chores” causes less sex, it doesn’t mean that it’s a bad idea for men to do those chores. It just means that there are some screwed up associations between certain types of chores and sexuality.
    Taken to absurdity: Chris Brown still has female fans. That doesn’t make it a good idea to abuse women. It means we’ve got some Society-Fixing to do.
    On the other hand, the chore-sex correlation might be causally reversed. When people aren’t getting as much sex as they want, they look for things they can do to fix it. So maybe it’s that men who aren’t getting as much sex as they want are doing “her” chores in order to lighten her work load. This probably doesn’t work, so you get this correlation.

    • I notice they focus on the quantity of sex with no mention of the quality of the sex ( having alright sex 3 times vs really good sex twice for example). There also doesn’t seem to be any questioning of how much sex was wanted (wanting sex 3 times a week and getting it vs wanting sex twice a day and getting once). There’s more to these issues then just quantity but a lot of discussions seem to focus on that as it’s easier to measure.

      • Heh, yeah, the first thing that went through my head (given all the discussion about consent recently) was if the sex was considered a ‘traditional chore’ and whether it was wanted and consented to in the first place….

  2. What leads people to identify chores and ‘men’ and ‘women’ chores? Seems like that ideology would have to be taught. So maybe frequency of sex has less to do with who is doing what chores and more to do with people fulfilling lives as they have been taught to lead, maybe then leading to more sex? Just a guess.

    • It’s genetically determined, of course. Our paleolithic ancestors…

      • How clever you are Buzz Parsec! It all began with the invention of stone tools. Female must use stone knife to make dinner, male must use stone axe cut wood for fire. Everyone then has sex once a week. ;)

        • True, but the real differentiation came about with the invention of the stone lawnmower and the stone vaccuum cleaner.

          • Now you’re just being silly.

            Everybody knows that lawnmowers and vacuum cleaners wouldn’t work if they were made of stone – lawnmowers were made of lobsters and vacuum cleaners were baby elephants.

  3. 20 year old data which may or may not have been partially controlled now and was almost certainly not controlled then? No problem! Obviously macho men get laid more often!

    My other problem with the study is even more basic: the unspoken assumption that how frequently your woman services your tool is a large part (see what I did there?) of what determines …(???) I dunno, value as a person? manhood? what?

    • They do admit the age of the data is a concern; they state the following as the reason that they decided to use it despite the age:

      However, given the durability of some features of marriage, including the gendered division of labor, we suspect our results would still hold despite the time that has passed since the data were collected. Additionally, conclusions about the shift to egalitarianism and effects of this shift are often based on similarly aged data from the late 1980s and early 1990s. Although we may be unable to comment specifically on patterns of marriage in the present day, our results are easily applicable to claims about shifts in marriage.

      It sounds like they’re saying that even if the study couldn’t be applied to marital relationships in the present day, that it can be applied to a period of time when the nature of marriage was changing. Which seems like a reasonable claim to me; what do you think?

  4. Here’s the study, if anyone’s interested in the actual work done, rather than the media’s interpretation saying: http://www.asanet.org/journals/ASR/Feb13ASRFeature.pdf

    Skimming through it and reading the conclusion, it seems like the purpose behind the study is to test the claim that “women trade sex to men for doing what is traditionally viewed as women’s work.” The stake through the heart of the media’s take on this is the following sentence, though: “The importance of sexual frequency for sexual satisfaction, marital stability, and marital satisfaction for egalitarian versus traditional marriages are testable questions, but not the ones this article asks.” While I’m not sure of the claims made in the study, it definitely seems like the media line of “men: stop doing that women’s work and get more sex!” with the unstated assumption that more sex is better misses the point.

  5. Okay, but what KIND of sex, and do the women orgasm? I’d like to find out these kinds of things. I mean, what do they define as sex? If, say, men doing “traditional gender roles” (ick) led to missionary-style sex only, then I personally would reject that as sex at all. I mean, if we’re talking traditional gender roles, we might as well just pretend that women don’t have to come at all, and the man decides when it’s time for “sex.”

  6. It makes sense when you think about it from an evolutionary psychology perspective.

    That’s why I try not to think that way.

  7. My sons grew up in a household where I knew how to do all the mechanical, carpentry, and electrical things and their father painted tools blaze orange so he could find them before he cut grass. In my second marriage, both partners did whatever needed to be done, and we don’t have defined roles. My husband cooks and does the grocery shopping because he’s home all day while I’m at work. We both did all the remodeling on the house.
    One son is a mechanic and the other is a chef. I guess we screwed them up :).

  8. Apparently dudes that constantly demand sex are less likely to be useful in household things.

  9. Mary.

    I had no idea there was a National Croissant Day. What other days are there that I don’t know about?

  10. Anyone else read the Dr Oz profile and want to throw up? I think I’ve decided he might just be Lucifer… Thinking the Viggo Mortensen Lucifer from The Prophecy. Yikes.

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