Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Publish? Perish? What's the Point...Sometimes?

Research is a valuable way to spend time. It goes without saying that such activity has furthered just about every facet of life...though some has ultimately resulted in things like climate change, online porn and a general depersonalization of society. Still...the good outweighs the bad. For example, just this week, I discovered an amazing study  tool that I will use from this day forward to help somewhat reluctant well as any student who wants to learn and retain more.
Much of the research we read emanates from the ivy-covered walls of universities. Often funded by private organizations, this research produces significant advances as well as significant money for both producer and underwriter. It is well-known that university professors are required to do research to gain as well as to keep their full-time jobs. If one does not publish in accredited literature outlets, one is no longer welcome. Still...
Sometimes I wonder just how relevant some of the research and the findings are. I often find myself saying, "Well, duh! I knew that without spending time and money researching the topic!" Not that I'm a genius; it's just that the results of some seem so obvious based on general observation that "researching' the topic seems like a waste. Case in point:
As a result of a Council on Contemporary Families study done in 2008, Julie Brines, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Washington-Seattle decided to further the research to discover how accurate the results were: she suspected not at all!
In short, it was suggested in 2008 that husbands who helped out more around the house with non-traditional chores like shopping, cleaning and cooking experienced a greater incidence in the amount of sex they experienced with their wives. Since that study, it is probably true that men have changed the way they operate at home. Brines, however, doubted the results and set about checking them.
She cited a survey of 4500 families taken in a national survey of families and households that indicated almost the exact opposite result.
Men who varied their duties to include the more traditional female chores actually had LESS sex than those who did more traditionally male jobs like gardening and yard work! To be clear, she also found that the wives were more satisfied in their married life and with their partner, but they were not exactly aroused in the way the previous study might have suggested. The men, she opined, were more "helpmate" than "bedmate." question is this: how valuable was any of this research, anyway? How does Brines' research further the knowledge about relationships or marital satisfaction, or ...well, anything? Perhaps, it furthers the cause of her getting a full professorship, but I don't see how it helps either men or women significantly. As a cynic, I guess I can see that this would ensure men would return to more traditional tasks, leaving the bulk of the work yet again to women.
It also makes me wonder if dusting is really all that necessary for me to do EVERY week!


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