Short-Run Variation in Sexual Frequency and Housework

Sabino Kornrich, Emory University
Katrina M. Leupp, University of Washington

Symbolic interactionist perspectives on gender performance imply a dynamic relationship between displays of gender and others’ responses to gender performances. However, most existing research on gender display examines only a cross-sectional relationship, including recent research which found greater sexual frequency when couples divide household labor in more gender-traditional ways. We propose a unique use of couple data that takes advantage of non-concurrent spousal responses – when spouses report at different times – to link changes in housework to changes in sexual frequency over short periods of time. Doing so allows us to both better test theoretical perspectives which posit reactions and to eliminate unobserved differences between couples by using a fixed-effects approach. Results show that changes in the performance of gender-typed behavior over short time periods impact dyadic marital processes.

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Presented in Session 52: Gender in Families