Oct. 3, 2003 -- Men who want more heat in their love lives might want to grab a mop and a bucket.
School-aged children who do housework with their fathers are more likely to get along with their peers and have more friends, according to sociologists Scott Coltrane and Michelle Adams of the University of California in Riverside, who looked at national survey data of 3,563 children and their parents and released a report in June.
But that is not the only reason for men to get out the cleaning supplies. According to separate research conducted by Dr. John Gottman at the University of Washington, wives are more likely to get in the mood when men help out with the housework.
Gottman and other scientists who have conducted research on domestic chores say that wives feel it is a sign of love and caring when men contribute to the chores. Therefore, they are more sexually attracted to their mates. Coltrane said wives may be less stressed about balancing work and home if men help out.
The data, from the Child Development Supplement of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, shows that men are now likely to do more of the everyday domestic work in households than in past generations, though they still do less than women.
Still, men are now more likely to take on tasks such as shopping and driving the kids to school. Although there is more haggling over who does certain household chores, relationships improve, researchers found.
The survey also found that the average father spends about three hours interacting with his school-aged children per weekend day, which is an increase from estimates in earlier decades. Today's dads are also more likely to hug their children and tell them they love them, researchers found.