The American Sociological Association has noted a study that reveals the expectations associated with traditional gender roles is detrimental to men’s well-being.
The study is, “Relative Income, Psychological Well-Being, and Health: Is Breadwinning Hazardous or Protective?” by Christin Munsch, an assistant professor of sociology at University of Connecticut (UConn) and her graduate assistants. From following a group of married men and women over a period of 15 years, they found as men took on more financial responsibility in their marriages, their psychological well-being and health declined.
Men’s psychological well-being and health were at their worst during years when they were their families’ sole breadwinner. In these years, they had psychological well-being scores that were 5 percent lower and health scores that were 3.5 percent lower, on average, than in years when their partners contributed equally.
“A lot of what we know about how gender plays out in marriage focuses on the ways in which women are disadvantaged,” says Munsch. “For example, women are more likely to be victims of domestic violence, and they still perform the lion’s share of housework. Our study contributes to a growing body of research that demonstrates the ways in which gendered expectations are harmful for men too. Men are expected to be breadwinners, yet providing for one’s family with little or no help has negative repercussions.”