Since the turn of the 21st century, the role of the woman has changed from the domesticated, stay-at-home mom to the working mom, where women may even rake in bigger bucks than men. A new study shows a man who believes strongly in traditional masculinity but earns less than his female partner will have worse relationships than a man who does not hold on to traditionally masculine beliefs.
It is societal norm for the man to be the “breadwinner” earning more money than the woman, which would create a sense of power as the head of the household. While a study conducted by Men’s Health, published in November 2011, stated 73 percent of men were not opposed to dating women with a higher salary than them, a new study from Patrick Coughlin and Jay Wade from Fordham University suggests otherwise.
This study involved 46 men who were in a romantic relationship with a woman who had a higher salary than them. Through a survey that was conducted online, researchers were able to ask men questions concerning masculinity, the quality of their relationship, and the prominence of the disparity in salary between their significant other.
Results demonstrated if the man is passionate about traditional masculinity, which include emotional control, success, dominance, power and anti-femininity and homophobia, then he is more likely to have a low-quality romantic bond with his partner and the more likely he would identify the disparity as an important factor in the relationship. With men who did not hold traditionally masculine beliefs, they were more likely to maintain a high-quality relationship and not focus excessively on the income disparity.
According to the authors, “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 findings are relevant to men who are married as well as non-married men in a romantic relationship.”
This study was published in the journal Sex Roles.