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Men do not feel comfortable with ambitious women

Men do not feel comfortable with ambitious women

June 12, 2024

Social relationships are so complex and complicated that it is not surprising that they are the focus of many studies. In this case, I would like to comment on a couple of recent works that focus on one of the psychological factors that come into play in relationships between men and women.

Apparently, men feel uncomfortable when they are with more ambitious women and have more "success" (labor or social) that they.

The romantic penalty

The "romantic penalty" suffered by ambitious women is not a new issue. There are many studies related to it, although these two new works reinforce this concept.


The first, carried out in the United States, shows how single women reduce their ambitions in public , while the second, carried out in Sweden, reveals a real consequence of the ambitions in marriages: the increase in divorces .

Single women hide their ambitions

The study conducted by Leonardo Bursztyn, Thomas Fujiwara and Amanda Pallais, three American economists, consisted in the first place in offering a questionnaire to fill a group of new students for a Master's Degree in Business Administration (MBA), as part of their initiation at.

The questionnaire contained questions about job preferences and personality traits that one must have to run a business. But there were two types of questionnaire that only differed in the use of a single sentence: in some cases it was indicated that the results were totally anonymous ; and in others that the answers were going to be made public and that the name had to be indicated.


Hiding the ambition

The results were not delayed. When looking at the private responses between single and committed women and men, there were no significant differences. But the thing was not the same in public.

While women with partners and men maintained the same response as before, in single women it appeared a totally different response pattern and always below on the scale of ambition. In the question about the desired salary to receive, for example, the amount was reduced to $ 18,000 per year less with respect to the response in private. The willingness to travel was also affected (7 days less per month); and the same thing happened with the desired weekly work hours: 4 hours less a week.

Thus, in the responses of the single women who were revealed to the rest of the class there was a reduction in the professional ambitions and leadership expressed . The authors concluded that these women do not want to appear ambitious because of the "bad image" that this produces in the search for a partner. As one of its authors indicates: "single women avoid actions that could help them in their career when they have negative consequences in the" marriage market "".


The success of women associated with divorce

The second work was carried out by the couple Olle Folke and Johanna Rickne, in Sweden. This study shows how the progression in the professional career in women negatively affects their marriage, unlike if it is a man.

This investigation was possible thanks to the fact that the Swedish government presents a wide register of information about its inhabitants (much to the joy of sociologists). In fact, they focused on a sector where ambitions are very clear: in couples of couples of aspirants to parliamentarians or parliamentarians .

Among the politicians of this country is a high divorce rate. The number of these before an election is similar between the future "losers" and "winners", but it changes drastically after them, with an almost double increase among the winners. But This is more accentuated if the winner is a woman .

There are several relevant factors in this phenomenon, such as age differences, but in a general way, it can be seen that when the woman gets a promotion with salary increase (in this case, associated in addition to a position of political power) , the divorce rate is significantly higher than if the man had obtained the position. This has also been seen in promotions within private companies Although sometimes it is difficult to discern when a promotion in a company is positive or negative, it does not always lead to better conditions.

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New life ... in every way

The conclusion reached by the authors is that when a woman has a sudden job success puts her marriage at risk if man has always been the dominant force in household income. To reaffirm this, they emphasized that there is a greater number of divorces in the cases that the woman happens to be the main force of income in the household above the husband .

Of course, you can not extrapolate these results happily to countries that are not Sweden, since the culture and traditions are different in each country. Still, it is worth wondering to what extent it is likely that in other places female gender roles are less constrictive than in Sweden.

  • Related article: "Women are underestimated at work (and it seems normal)"

Dating Advice For Ambitious Women | Ask Jason - Episode 4 (June 2024).


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