Want children who think you’re their hero and also have a healthy sex life? Simple: pick up after yourself, do doggy-do patrol and leave the toilet seat down.
Like many scientific studies, this seems logical enough: if your partner does all the cleaning up while you drink beer in front of the TV, she’s less likely feel amorous than if your share the load.
But a new study has found that women aren’t merely more accommodating of the advances of men who help them – they actually find them more attractive.
If Dad helps, so do the children
What’s more, children of dads who do their fair share of the cleaning will help with housework themselves. And, says the study, these children are likely to grow up more socially aware and better adjusted. They’re also more likely to have friends and less likely to be depressed or withdrawn at school than their counterparts whose fathers don’t help out around the home.
Fathers who did a share of housework were also more likely to show affection towards their children.
The study, conducted by the University of California said that while many men today do more than their fathers and grandfathers did to keep the household going, they’re still doing less than women.
Many women work the same hours that their husbands do, but shoulder more of the load of looking after children and running the household.
Sportsmen not so sporty with household chores
One warning: the study, which examined more than 3 500 children and their parents, found that fathers who were heavily involved in sports were less likely to spend time helping with housework.
The lesson? Unless it’s a major event, watch the highlights, rather than the whole event. One researcher noted that because fewer men do housework than women, the actions of those that do help have more of an impact on their children. The youngsters are likely to learn the value and viability of “cooperative family partnerships”. In other words, they might learn to pick up after themselves.
And of course, when women feel less stressed about being unfairly burdened with the workload, they’re more willing to channel any surplus energy and goodwill into carnal pleasure – not least because they regard a helping hand as manifestation of love.
So by all means buy her the drop-dead negligee, chocolate body paint and long-stemmed roses. But you increase your chances of one-to-one harmony by taking out the trash. (William Smook, updated 2011)