Science says it’s better for everyone when women earn as much as their husbands—and not just because of gender equality (but also). Women still make 70 cents to the male dollar, which is quite the disadvantage. But if that doesn’t do it for you, you should know: Guys are hurtin’, too…
While gender stereotypes persist that men should be the breadwinners of their families, new research by assistant professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut Christin Munsch suggests that men actually prefer women to take on some of the financial burden, too. Bearing the bulk of economic responsibilities is taking a toll on millennial men’s psychological health. Meanwhile, the more contributions millennial women make, the better their mental health.
The research analyzed data surrounding 9,000 married heterosexual couples aged 18-32 between 1997 and 2011. Men’s mental and physical health fared the worst in the years they were the primary breadwinners of households. Men whose wives contributed equally to the household income had an average psychological well-being score of about 3.33 on a four-point scale, while men who contributed twice as much as their wives had a 3.27. Those who earned everything got a score of 3.17.
The researchers say that men wouldn’t suffer so much if they weren’t subjected to a “macho breadwinner paradigm.” So, guys, maybe you don’t gotta be the only ones to go to work, work, work, work, work. (But you gotta put in some work, work, work, work, work.)