by Gena Kaufman
Blech, this basically backs up the supposed Well, not your boyfriend specifically. But probably most men. Yay?
You know how people say "Behind every great man is a great woman" and it's like, ugh, barf? Unfortunately if we reversed it, it might have to be "Behind every great woman is a sad, jealous, man-baby." A new study shows that men tend to have lower self-esteem and bruised egos when their female partners excel. So, that's encouraging.
In a series of experiments conducted among 32 undergraduate couples, when men were told their partner had scored in the top 12 percent of all students on a test, the men tended to score lower on an Implicit Association Test for self-esteem. Note that the guys didn't say they felt any worse after hearing of their partner's success, but the Implicit Associate Test measures attitudes and feelings people may not want to report through word associations. Women didn't suffer the same self-esteem dip when their guy succeeded. Come on, dudes. Don't make us feel guilty about being smart, please.
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OK, now to defend guys after berating them in the first part of this post (because I don't really think they are all man-babies!). For one, I might guess that younger guys, like the age of the participants, are less mature and secure in their own successes. And, hey, I'm at least encouraged that they at least say they don't feel bad, even if it turns out to not be true deep down in their hearts. Maybe they're trying to be fair, but feeling competitive isn't always the easiest emotion to control.
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But, hey, everyone, let's make it cool for there to be a great man behind a great woman, and vice versa, and even a great man and a great woman standing side-by-side and not being jealous of each other or feeling bad about themselves. Right?
How does your guy handle it when you accomplish something or have a big success? I hope he's the supportive type!
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by Gena Kaufman