Science says being male and a breadwinner is bad for your health

Men's health can suffer when they're the breadwinners, study says

Men who earn more money than their wives show a declining health and psychological well-being, according to new research by Christin Munsch, a sociologist from the University of Connecticut.

"When you're a breadwinner, your family's standard of living is very much dependent on your salary, much more so than your partner's salary, and that's a lot of pressure," Munsch told New York Magazine.

According to her research, breadwinners consistently push themselves to earn more money to improve their ability to provide for their families' changing needs and wants--for example, a bigger house, a European family vacation etc. Therefore it becomes increasingly difficult to step back from work and spend time with family.

The study also highlights the effects of traditional gender roles in a time when 38 percent of women in heterosexual marriages out earn their husbands. "For women who are breadwinners, they're not at the status quo--they're knocking it out of the park. And if they lose it, they don't become losers: They go back to the status quo," Munsch added.

When they successfully become a family's breadwinner, Munsch's research found, women tended to report greater feelings of well-being. Although, there was no significant correlation with their health.

Her study, which will be presented at the 111th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, followed 15 years of data on heterosexual married couples between the ages of 18 and 32 from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. More than 3,000 people responded in the study.

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