Men Who Believe ‘Madonna-Whore Dichotomy’ Have Less Satisfying Relationships

Men Who Believe ‘Madonna-Whore Dichotomy’ Have Less Satisfying Relationships

(Link): Men Who Believe ‘Madonna-Whore Dichotomy’ Have Less Satisfying Relationships

By Meera Jagannathan, Moneyish

Clinging to male dominance won’t do your relationship any favors.

Men who buy into the Sigmund Freud-coined “Madonna-Whore dichotomy” — i.e., viewing women as either “good” and chaste or “bad” and promiscuous — are more likely to embrace a “patriarchy-enhancing ideology” and feel less satisfied in romantic relationships, a recent studypublished in the journal Sex Roles found.

“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,” lead author Orly Bareket said in a statement.

The study surveyed 108 heterosexual Israeli men on their endorsement of the Madonna-Whore dichotomy (“A sexy woman is usually not a good mother,” for example), desire for social dominance and hierarchy, gender-specific system justification (e.g., “In general, relations between men and women are fair”), hostile and benevolent sexism, sexual objectification of women, sexual double standards, relationship satisfaction and sexual satisfaction in their relationships.

Men’s support for the idea that women’s sexual and nurturing qualities are mutually exclusive, the researchers found, significantly correlated with “ideologies that reinforce gender inequality, objectify women and restrict their sexuality.” Madonna-Whore dichotomy-favoring men also expressed less satisfaction with their own romantic relationships.

“These findings support the feminist notion that patriarchal arrangements have negative implications for the well-being of men as well as women,” the authors wrote. “Specifically, the MWD not only links to attitudes that restrict women’s autonomy, but also impairs men’s most intimate relationships with women.”

Therapists can draw upon these findings while treating men prone to MWD endorsement, the authors said, integrating them into interventions to reduce the MWD inclination.

Female clients who either subscribe to the MWD complex or have partners who do may also benefit.

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