'Macho' Men Do Worse in Couples When the Woman Earns More

Small study found men with less-traditional mindset had better-quality relationships

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FRIDAY, July 27, 2012 (HealthDay News) -- Having a female partner who earns more than they do can cause stress for men with traditional views of masculinity and lead to problems in their romantic relationships, according to a small new study.

Researchers conducted an online survey with 47 men involved with women who had a higher income. The men were asked about their views on masculinity, the quality of their relationships and the importance of the difference in income between them and their female partners.

The stronger a man's belief in traditional masculinity, the more likely he was to believe that the difference in income was important and the more likely he was to report a low-quality relationship, according to researchers Patrick Coughlin and Jay Wade at Fordham University in New York City.

But men with less traditional views of masculinity were more likely to say that the difference in income wasn't that important and were more likely to have a high-quality relationship.

The study appeared online in the journal Sex Roles.

"Our results demonstrate the importance of masculinity ideology in understanding how and why men with higher-earning partners will have low- or high-quality romantic relationships," the authors said in a journal news release. "The findings are relevant to men who are married as well as non-married men in a romantic relationship."

More information

The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy has information for people having marriage problems.

SOURCE: Sex Roles, news release, July 17, 2012

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