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Husbands Who Earn Less Than Their Wives Are Significantly More Likely to Suffer Erectile Dysfunction

Update Date: Feb 13, 2013 04:00 PM EST

Men who earn less than their alpha wives may also be underperforming in the bedroom, according to a new study.

Researchers recently found that husbands who earn less than their wives are more likely to take Viagra and other sex enhancement drugs compared to hubbies who are the main breadwinners.

While researchers do not know exactly why men who earn less than their wives are more likely to take Viagra, they suspect that loss of pride, anger and frustration could play a role in the husband's loss of interest in the bedroom.

The study was conducted in Demark, a socially progressive nation where it is more culturally accepted when husbands stay at home while their wives go to work.

American and Danish researchers analyzed salary and prescriptions data of more than 200,000 married couples. 

The findings, published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, revealed that Viagra and other drugs prescribed for impotence or erectile dysfunction were significantly more popular in households in which the woman earned more than the man.

Furthermore, researchers found that this effect existed even in families in which the wife earned a slightly higher salary than the husband.

"Even small differences in relative income are associated with large changes in erectile dysfunction medication usage when they shift the marriage from a male to a female breadwinner," researchers wrote in the study.

The study also found that a salary difference of $15,000 or higher in the wife's favor doubled the likelihood of the husband resorting to Viagra.

However, researchers noted that the Viagra phenomenon was not seen in couples in which the woman had always earned more money. Researchers said that the phenomenon was only apparent in couples in which the wife overtook the husband during the course of the relationship.

Researchers say that the findings suggest that loss of pride and psychological pressure may be the primary causes of bedroom problems in men.

"Male sexual desire is linked to cultural and social factors such as patriarchy, money and social networks, potentially causing men to suffer reduced sexual desire or dysfunction when perceiving their traditional provider role to be usurped," researchers wrote. "Anger and frustration can lead to serious sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction."

To support their theory, researchers also found that husbands out-earned by their wives were more likely to take sleeping pills and antidepressants compared to other men.  The salary difference didn't just affect the men.  The study found that women who earned more than their partners were also more likely to take sleeping pills and anxiety medication. 

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