Science backs up what women have known for years. There’s nothing hotter than a man who knows his way around the bathroom floor with a soapy mop.
US gender expert Michael Kimmel was in town last week discussing research on the benefits of men sharing the caring and domestic load with their partners.
Their children are better adjusted, their partners are happier and healthier and they personally experienced excellent physical and psychological benefits.
And if that wasn’t enough to convince men of the benefits of gender equality then here’s the clincher: men who share the housework and childcare get more sex.
According to research conducted in the “love labs” of Dr. John Gottman at the University of Washington, when men contribute more around the house, their partner may be more likely to get “in the mood.”
A sentiment shared by broadcaster Richard Glover who once wrote of his partner: “She thinks foreplay is pronounced floor-play and involves me getting down on my hands and knees and scrubbing the kitchen tiles.”
So what role do employers play in all this?
One effective way to help men be more available at home is to have employers embrace flexibility, thereby transforming the way both genders engage with the workplace.
The availability of quality flexible work has always been in demand for women but now men are starting to put their hands up. In fact, research by the Diversity Council of Australia indicates that having the flexibility to manage family and personal life is one of the five most highly valued job characteristics for men.
Reid Johnson, one of the men taking part in the Equilibrium Man Challenge says, “It’s about making more space. There’ll generally be another day for home and life stuff, so I think that will make a big difference.” Reid’s story is characteristic of the changing role of fathers in families and indeed the changing role of men in our society.
So perhaps it’s time to get flexible and watch the good times roll!