Date of Award

Spring 2020

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Rebecca Glauber

Second Advisor

Michele Dillon

Third Advisor

Heather Turner


This study analyzed how weekly housework hours and perceptions of fairness surrounding the division of household labor are correlated with midlife to older married women’s and men’s sexual frequency and sexual satisfaction. I analyzed statistical data from Wave 3 of the National Survey of Families and Households (2001-2003), and the sample consisted of 1,920 individuals (954 men and 966 women) ages 40-70 years old. Findings from my study showed that the sexual satisfaction of older Americans matters, while sexual frequency does not. For instance, results illustrated that when weekly housework increased, sexual satisfaction decreased. I also found that the perceived fairness of household labor is only correlated with older Americans’ sexual satisfaction. Compared to those who perceived the housework as unfair for themselves, when housework was perceived as fair for both partners and unfair for one’s spouse, respondents had increased odds of sexual satisfaction. General implications of my research suggested that who contributes to the household labor and how much one contributes matter. Specifically, for this sample of Americans, only subjective perceptions surrounding the satisfaction of one’s sexual experiences are correlated with housework and perceived fairness.