Study: Men Threatened When Partner Interferes With Bromances

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Categories: Dating and Relationships

While most people will agree that it’s a good idea to befriend a partner’s pals, there is such a thing as becoming too friendly. According to a new study, a woman who is closer to a man’s friends than he is risks emasculating her partner and harming the couple’s sex life.

The study, conducted by researchers at Cornell University and the University of Chicago, found that men who believe their wives or girlfriends are too friendly with their pals are more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction than men without this concern. Study authors Benjamin Cornwell and Edward Laumann call this overly friendly behavior “partner betweenness” and estimate that it affects 25% of all couples. Men who deal with the partner betweenness phenomenon are 95% more likely to have issues in the bedroom than men who don’t.

"Men who experience partner betweenness in their joint relationships are more likely to have trouble getting or maintaining an erection and are also more likely to experience difficulty achieving orgasm during sex," wrote Cornwell and Laumann.

So why the sexual dysfunction? While one might think jealousy is the problem, researchers believe it’s the loss (or perceived loss) of autonomy and independence, not fears of infidelity, that causes men to lose their mojo. It seems male bonds help men feel strong and independent, qualities they tie to their masculinity, and when a woman is too friendly with her partner’s pals he may feel emasculated and thus have problems performing in bed.

The study, published in the American Journal of Sociology, evaluated data from 3,005 men aged 57 to 85. Men between the ages of 57 and 64 were most threatened by partner betweenness while men in their 70’s and 80’s generally don’t care about who is closer to a male friend.

Source: Time, Photo: morgueFile

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