Every once in a while some crazy academic study touches a nerve.

Peter, an old high school buddy living in Seattle,  forwarded me a news story this week about a University of Washington study that concluded that married couples who divvy up housework along traditional gender lines have more sex than those “who share so-called men’s and women’s roles.”

The story kicks off: “Married and want to have more sex? Then ladies, do the cooking and cleaning, and guys, mow the lawn and pay the bills.”

I’ve written recently how sex has been, and continues to be an essential part of our marriage.  And truth be told, I don’t mind washing the dishes – and frequently do.

It all goes back to when I was in junior high school and my mom was sick — bedridden actually, for a year or more as a result of a nervous breakdown. At the time, my father called a family meeting with my older brother, myself, and my two younger sisters.

“Ok, your mom’s sick. I will do the cooking as much as I can and the boys will do the dishes. You girls help out with the housework,” he said.

As time went on, the routine in my family became ingrained. As soon as dinner was over, my brother and I would clear the table immediately, wash and put away the dishes. This would all happen before we were allowed to leave the kitchen.

Even when mom got better, the routine continued.

Fast forward to the year after I graduated from college. On my first date with Laura, I visited her apartment. I was about 15 minutes early and she was in the shower. Laura’s older sister Susan, who was living with her at the time, asked me to wait in the living room.

I sat for a couple of minutes and then walked casually into the kitchen.  I immediately spied a bunch of dishes — about three days worth – piled in the sink. This was unacceptable.

Mind if I do your dishes?” I asked Susan. She was incredulous.

I rolled up my sleeves.  By the time Laura came out, the sink was emptied. Every dish, pot and pan had been washed.

Well, one thing led to another.

Today, Laura is my wife of more than 30 years. We both have full-time jobs. I’ve been Mr. Dishwasher in our household throughout our marriage and show no signs of slowing down.

I asked Laura, who was sitting on the couch reading the paper, what she thought about me passing on the dish washing responsibility entirely to her.

“Yeah, right. Don’t even think about it,” she said.