A study suggests that the quality of a relationship affects young men more than their romantic counterparts, the Toronto Sun reported.
Robin Simon, a Wake Forest University professor of sociology, conducted a study of over 1,000 unmarried men and women between the ages of 18 and 23.
The results found that men feel the effects of their relationship’s highs and lows more than women, challenging the commonly held gender stereotypes. Men experienced both greater emotional benefits when they were happy in their romance and greater stress when they were unhappy. Simon also suggested that a young man’s sense of self worth can be hurt if his relationship is poor.
A possible reason is that a young man’s romantic partner is often their primary source of intimacy, while women are more likely to have close relationships with family and friends, Simon said.
Simon said that men and women handle stress from a relationship differently.
"Women express emotional distress with depression, while men express emotional distress with substance problems," Simon said.
The results of the study, which Simon called “surprising” and is part of a long-term study of mental health and the transition to adulthood, is published in the June issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.