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Men May Be More Vulnerable to Roller Coaster Ride of Romance
Date:6/13/2010

Study found young males felt ups and downs of relationships more deeply than young women

FRIDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- Young men are often portrayed as insensitive players with a "love 'em and leave 'em" attitude toward the opposite sex, but a new study suggests that they are actually more vulnerable to the emotional ups and downs of romantic relationships than young women.

"The perception is that young men are unfeeling when it comes to relationships, and that all they want is to have sex," said study author Robin Simon, a professor of sociology at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. "But these findings reveal that they are emotionally involved, and that they actually benefit more from the good parts of the relationship and are more harmed by the bad than women."

For the study, Simon and co-author Anne Barrett, an associate professor of sociology at Florida State University in Tallahassee, analyzed survey data on 1,611 men and women between the ages of 18 and 23 that had been originally gathered for a long-term study of mental health and the transition to adulthood. First, they looked at whether being in a relationship or having a recent breakup had any effect on the young adults' mental health, as well as whether there were any differences in men vs. women. Then, they examined what effect partner strain and support in an ongoing relationship had on the subjects' mental well-being, and whether there were any gender differences there.

Not surprisingly, Simon and Barrett found that women were more likely than men to experience depression when a relationship ended and benefited more from being part of a couple. But when the researchers looked at the effects of ongoing relationships on mental health, the tables were turned. Men received greater emotional benefits than women from the positive aspects of a romantic relationship, and they were also more likely than women to be emotionally harmed by the st
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