Tampa (Florida) [US], February 1 (ANI): Men are often victimised for the sake of the society’s perception of ‘manliness’. While this has an impact on their mental health, it also affects their intimacy with their partner. A new study has found that women in sexual relationships with men, may change their own sexual behaviour in an effort to protect their partners’ perceived manhood.
According to the study published in ‘Social Psychological and Personality Science’, the more women perceived their partner’s sense of masculinity as fragile, the more they reported faking orgasms and the lower their sexual satisfaction. Most prior research on manhood focuses on how the cultural view of masculinity affects men and their behaviour. This new research examined the subject from the perspective of women who sought to protect their partners’ sense of masculinity, perhaps at their own expense.
“Women are prioritizing what they think their partners need over their own sexual needs and satisfaction,” explained lead author Jessica Jordan of the University of South Florida.
In one study, that collected data from 283 women, researchers found that the more women perceived their partner’s manhood as precarious, the more anxiety and poorer communication they experienced, which in turn predicted a lower rate of orgasms and sexual satisfaction. An additional study, involving 196 women, found that participants who were asked to imagine a male partner whose manhood was fragile were also less likely to provide honest sexual communication.
“If a woman is concerned about inadvertently threatening her partner’s manhood, that could lead to a breakdown of communication,” Jordan explained.
In a third study, researchers recruited 157 women in sexual relationships with men from Facebook to complete an anonymous survey about their sex lives. The results showed that women who made more money than their partners were twice as likely as those who did not to fake orgasms.
Jordan discouraged interpreting that the decrease in sexual satisfaction and honest communication as the fault of the man or woman involved. She explained that if women have been led to believe that it is their job to protect their partner’s sense of masculinity by withholding sexual feedback, it made sense for them to do so.
Likewise, if men are not made aware that their behaviour (or that of men in general) gave their partner the perception that sexual feedback is not welcome, they are not given the opportunity to tell their partner otherwise.
Future research, Jordan said, should explore this phenomenon within couples, including men in same-sex couples.
While the current research focused on how women perceive and respond to masculine insecurity, Jordan noted that it is important to remember that honest communication and understanding one’s partners’ sexual needs benefitted men as well.
“When society creates an impossible standard of masculinity to maintain,” said Jordan, “nobody wins.”