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Aug 23

Being a breadwinner makes millennial men miserable, study says | News & Observer

Recent years have seen a lot of dialogue on women in the workplace, with studies showing women tend to be less stressed at work than at home, breaking thoughts on traditional gender roles.

But what about the men?

A new study shows that men are equally unhappy when forced into their traditional breadwinner role, at least if they’re part of the millennial generation.

The study, which was presented last weekend at the American Sociological Association’s annual conference, took 15 years of data on married people between the ages of 18 and 32 and determined men who were expected to make the majority of income in their marriage were unhappier than those who shared the burden equally.

“The data definitely seems to indicate that, in general, as men take responsibility for greater and greater shares of the couple’s pooled income, they experience declines in their psychological well-being and health,” Christin Munsch, the lead author and an assistant professor of sociology at University of Connecticut, told Time.

Happiness scores fall up to 5 percent lower when men are the sole breadwinners in their families, and health scores fall up to 3.5 percent compared to couples that pitch in equally. It was unclear how happiness was measured.

Women were unaffected by what their earning share was compared to their partners. However, women who earned more money were happier.

Men’s happiness levels seemed to be related only to the share of income they were expected to contribute, not to how much money they were actually earning. The researchers explored other explanations, such as age, education, absolute income and hours worked per week. But none accounted for what they were seeing.

So the lesson seems to be it makes both genders unhappier when they feel pressured to conform to traditional roles.

“We know millennials, more so than previous generations, want egalitarian relationships in which both partners contribute financially and both partners are responsible for domestic labor and childcare,” Musnch said. “The findings may reflect as mismatch between what men want and what happens when they are forced to take on more traditional responsibilities.”

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/nation-world/national/article97105622.html#storylink=cpy

Source: Being a breadwinner makes millennial men miserable, study says | News & Observer

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