Psychological, sexual impact of female breadwinners explored

February 14, 2013
Psychological, sexual impact of female breadwinners explored
For couples in which the wife earns more than the husband, there may be psychological and sexual implications, according to a study published in the March issue of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

(HealthDay)—For couples in which the wife earns more than the husband, there may be psychological and sexual implications, according to a study published in the March issue of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

Noting that the traditional social norm of the male breadwinner is increasingly being challenged, Lamar Pierce, Ph.D., from Washington University in St. Louis, and colleagues examined the impact of wives outearning their husbands as reflected in sexual and . Wage and medication data were collected for more than 200,000 from Denmark from 1997 to 2006.

The researchers found that husbands who earned less than their wives were more likely to use erectile dysfunction medication than those who had a traditional breadwinner role, even when there was only a small difference. Increased insomnia/anxiety medication usage was seen for female breadwinners, with a similar effect seen in men. These effects were not seen in or for men who earned less than their fiancée before marriage.

"If social norms against female breadwinners continue to be strong, increasing female income will produce real costs in marriage, including the anxiety, insomnia, and erectile dysfunction identified here," the authors write. "These costs may be understated in our study, given that many women may never pursue high-paying careers due to social pressure for them to either work in the home or serve as secondary earners."

Explore further: More sex for married couples with traditional divisions of housework

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Jenny Garrett
not rated yet Feb 16, 2013
This really surprises me, in a country such as Denmark when the roles are less traditional, I would have thought that women being the breadwinner would have had such an impact. A physical responses such as this alludes to a repression of anxiety. Communication is the key for all relationships but critical for relationships where the woman is breadwinner. I wonder if women could be measured in the same way whether they would have a problem if the man was a the breadwinner in this culture?
Jenny Garrett

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