Is your wife causing your ED?

women make more money than menMen who finds their wife’s income is larger than his own may feel that in the bed room.  Leading US researchers began studying prescription data on more than 200,000 married couples looking at income.  Their study found Viagra, Standra and other drugs for impotence, or erectile dysfunction, to be extra-popular in households in which the woman was the main earner or earned more than her husband. The effect could be seen even in families in which the wife’s salary was only slightly higher than the husband’s.

The study by Washington University in St. Louis discovered that a relatively small difference in income between the spouses boosted the odds that a man might need pharmaceutical help in the bedroom.  The likely cause of this is that men are feeling emasculated. Other causes could be  that ”it is threatening for men to be out-earned by their wives, and that threat is carried all the way into the bedroom, which leads him to be less able to perform well sexually,” said Kathleen Vohs, a professor of marketing at the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management.  “Another explanation,” she said, “which is similar but not quite, is that the husband might use the ED medication as a way to guaranteethat he is not emasculated in the bedroom.”

“Men who make [even] $500 less a year than their wives are 10 percent more likely to take ED medications than men who make $500 more,” he noted.

The study was published online recently in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.  The findings suggests that ”marriage is an important social construct dictating his role [as primary breadwinner].”  In the past 20 years, the percent of American wives who make more than their husbands has risen from 4 percent to 22 percent, said lead author.  For men without a college degree, the rate is higher: One-quarter are married to wives who earn more than they do. And demographers expect the number of such marriages to grow, as women continue to get more college degrees than young men and to outearn them, especially early in their careers.

The study looked at data from 1997 to 2006,and zeroed in on more than 569,000 couples, aged 25 to 49, where both partners worked full time.  The study showed that men were not the only ones affected psychologically by income differences within marriage.

Some of the finding showed  found that wives who out-earned their husbands were themselves more likely to suffer emotional issues and needed  to take medications for insomnia and anxiety. And husbands earning less also were also more likely to take anxiety and depression medications compared to situations where the male was the major breadwinner. For the couples themselves, the dynamic may be a problem. As long as the woman earns less, her income does not cause trouble in the marriage. Once she earns more, however, marriage difficulties jump and divorce rates increase. Interestingly, it does not seem to matter whether she earns only slightly more, or substantially more—an indication that it is not female income per se, but the mere fact of earning more, that causes trouble.

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