Women are often thought to have more intense emotional feelings in their love lives than men. At least this is how we are often portrayed in movies and on television. Meanwhile, men are often shown to be insensitive or less feeling with regard to their romantic partners. But a study featured in HealthDay News says men’s emotions are more vulnerable to love’s ups and downs.
The study was conducted by Robin Simon, sociology professor at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., and Anne Barrett, associate professor of sociology at Florida State University in Tallahassee. It was published in the Journal of Health & Social Behavior. Researchers found men benefit more than women from the good parts of the relationship, and they are more harmed by the bad parts.
Women were found to experience depression when a relationship ended and benefited more from being a couple. But regarding the mental health benefits, men received greater emotional benefits and were more disturbed emotionally during rocky patches in the relationship. The reason may be because women tend to have other important sources of emotional connection and support, while men are more dependent on their girlfriends and wives for emotional support.
The findings are important to both men and women, because it helps us understand that we are both emotionally invested in our relationships, albeit in slightly different ways. It does little good to define women in our culture as emotional basket cases, or men as stoic sex hounds. We should also remember that emotions are positive for both sexes.
It’s also a healthy reminder to men that they should have a broader network of social support, including friends or relatives with whom they feel a strong connection. When men and women have dependable friends who support their marriage, it benefits the relationship.
Do you agree with the findings that men are more vulnerable to the roller coaster of relationship ups and downs?
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