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Health & Medicine Do Men Get Upset When their Female Partners are More Successful?

Do Men Get Upset When their Female Partners are More Successful?

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First Posted: Aug 29, 2013 10:15 PM EDT
Physicist Gilles Arnoux keeps a close eye on the JET fusion energy experiment.
Physicist Gilles Arnoux keeps a close eye on the JET fusion energy experiment. (Photo : EFDA)

Of course some men don't like it when women stray outside of the gender-role stereotype. (Especially Republican men, but we won't get into that.) In any case, a recent study shows that successes tied to women making higher monetary gains caused sulking among male counterparts. 

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"It makes sense that a man might feel threatened if his girlfriend outperforms him in something they're doing together, such as trying to lose weight," Kate Ratliff, Ph.D., the study's lead author, said according to Medical Xpress. Ratliff is from the University of Florida. "But this research found evidence that men automatically interpret a partner's success as their own failure, even when they're not in direct competition."

The study looked at 896 people based on five different experiments. One involved 32 couples from the University of Virginia in which they were given a test that was described to measure "problem solving and social intelligence."

The study showed scores of one of the partners to the other, with info that the top or bottom 12 percent of all university students. People who were given the scores did not get their own scores back, according to the study.

Researchers found that this information didn't affect long term self-esteem patterns, and when they were given a test to measure this feeling, the men who had partners scoring at a higher range tended to have lower self-esteem.

The remanding experiments that recruited 657 American adults, 284 of which were men, were asked to conduct an online survey and recall if their partner was successful or not. Research found that success or failure rates did not influence how the men felt about themselves. However, when female partners succeeded in something that their male partners failed in, the men had lower self-esteem.

Men, what do you think about that female CEO in the office? 

More information regarding the study can be found via the journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

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