Forming a romantic relationship and maintaining it can be difficult for a number of reasons. A recent study has revealed that holding on to patriarchy might be one of them.
Research has revealed that sexist men feel threatened by women no matter how much they deny it. The new study by Israeli scientists also shows men holding on to patriarchy often have problems forming a romantic relationship.
The reason here is they constantly feel the need to defend their manhood, have anxiety issues and find it difficult to trust females.
Researchers of the study conducted by the Tel Aviv University in Israel surveyed 108 heterosexual Israeli men. Around 77 percent of them were younger than 30 years old, and 55 percent were single. The study participants answered questions about how they perceived a woman's sexuality, whether chaste women have more positive traits than others and whether being nurturing and sexual are mutually exclusive, ScienceDaily reported.
The researchers also tried to find out the participants' general support for hierarchical social structures and for male dominance in particular. The questions they were asked included whether they thought women wanted to dominate, whether they sexually objectified women, and whether they ascribed to current gender roles and relationships. They also answered questions about the state of their relationships and sex lives.
The findings of the study showed that supporting male dominance negatively influences the well-being of both men and women by reinforcing gender inequality, objectifying women, and restricting their sexuality.
Social psychologist Orly Bareket said: "These men may have difficulties feeling attracted to the women they love, or loving the women to whom they are sexually attracted, leading to chronic dissatisfaction in their romantic relationships."
The recent also study shares a contention dating back to the time of Sigmund Freud, which indicates that some men find sexual pleasure and love for a woman to be incompatible.
The research further reveals that some men categorise women into one of two groups — they believe either they are chaste, nurturing and good, or they are promiscuous, manipulative, and out to seduce them.
This kind of polarising viewpoint is known as the "Madonna-Whore" complex, and the researchers found that those who held this viewpoint were more likely to sexually objectify women and also express double-standards allowing men more sexual freedom and initiative than women.
Bareket believes that clinicians and couple therapists should explore the "Madonna-Whore" dichotomy and how it plays a role in their male and female patients.
The study was published in Springer's journal Sex Roles.