While modern men may think everyone is for equal pay, research suggests that men still like to be in the driver’s seat when it comes to being the breadwinner.
Scientists claim to have discovered evidence showing how men get a psychological boost if the pay gap widens between them and their spouses.
However researchers could not find evidence of a similar feature existing for women suggesting that ego growth is an exclusively male phenomenon.
The study, which was conducted by sociologists at the City University of London, identified how men often feel a “psychological shock” in life satisfaction when they outperform their wife in terms of income.
Vanessa Gash, who co-authored the study, analyzed data from the UK Longitudinal Family Survey for eight years between 2009 and 2017.
The findings reveal attitudes to pay and show how the pay gap between partners can affect well-being.
Data analysis suggested that men who earned the same or more than their wives had a dissatisfaction rate of 11 percent, while those who earned less had a dissatisfaction rate of 18 percent.
A similar recent study by researchers at the University of Bath found that while men were found to be the main family stressor, their stress increased if their wives earned more than 40 percent of the family income.
The study also found that men were more stressed when they were completely economically dependent on their wives or partners.
Ms Gash said: “Men seem to be the biggest winners in a marriage to feel good about themselves. There is no equivalent feeling for women, so it is a specific masculine phenomenon.”
While scientists were unable to find a similar trend among female respondents, there is evidence to show how women remain deeply dissatisfied with wage inequality in the workplace.
Despite recent steps to bridge the gender pay gap, the data still tend to show that women earn less, and are more likely to take on lower paid roles than men, even if they work in the same sector.
Women are also more likely to be employed at lower wages, which offer lower wages than those for men, even if the same level of education and experience is required.
Sam Smethers, chief executive of the Fawcett Association, which campaigns for gender equality, said: “One thing we know from our research is that if women find that they are paid less than their male counterparts at work, this has a destructive effect on well-being “.
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