Danish men who earn less than their wives (this effect has not occurred if they are not married) are more likely to use erectile dysfunction drugs than their counterparts who earn more than they do. This phenomenon occurs even when this inequality is small , according to this study published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin .
On the other hand, wives who provide the most support to the family suffer a greater use of medications for insomnia / anxiety, with similar effects for the men who are the breadwinners.
As the percentage of wives outnumbering their husbands increases, the traditional social norm of the male breadwinner is challenged . Comparing the husband’s ascending income can cause psychological distress that affects the physical and mental health of the couple in ways that influence decisions about marriage, divorce, and career.
The cited study particularly studies this impact through sexual and mental health problems. Using salary and prescription drug data from Denmark, lower earners appear more likely to use ED drugs than their male breadwinner counterparts .
Interestingly, the study found no effects for unmarried couples or for men who earned less than their fiancée before marriage. The results thus suggest that social norms play an important role in dictating how individuals respond to bottom-up social comparisons.
As also happens with other behaviors associated with masculinity, such as aggressive driving a car (which leads to more fatal accidents). Although, as you can see in the following video, that does not necessarily mean that women drive worse (in fact, they have more non-fatal accidents):