Sex Roles

, Volume 67, Issue 5–6, pp 311–322

Masculinity Ideology, Income Disparity, and Romantic Relationship Quality Among Men with Higher Earning Female Partners

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11199-012-0187-6

Cite this article as:
Coughlin, P. & Wade, J.C. Sex Roles (2012) 67: 311. doi:10.1007/s11199-012-0187-6


This research assessed factors that may affect men’s heterosexual romantic relationships in which their partner earns a greater income. Forty-seven men from the United States completed measures that assessed masculinity ideology, the importance of the partner’s greater income, and romantic relationship quality. We examined whether the perceived importance of the income disparity mediated the relationship between men’s masculinity ideology and the quality of their romantic relationships. Using multiple regression analyses to test for mediation, results showed the relationship between masculinity ideology and romantic relationship quality was due in part to the importance one placed on the difference in income. Specifically, men who were more traditional in their masculinity ideology and have higher earning female partners were more likely to have poor quality romantic relationships in part because such men view the disparity in income as having importance. Conversely, results showed men who were more nontraditional in their masculinity were more likely to perceive the disparity in income as having little or no importance and have high romantic relationship quality.


Masculinity Relationship satisfaction Romantic relationship Marital quality Breadwinner role 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentFordham UniversityBronxUSA

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