Navigation Links
When a man's partner is too close to his friends, his sex life may suffer
Date:8/8/2011

Researchers have found a potential new source for sexual problems among middle-aged and older men: the relationships between their female partners and the men's closest friends.

A study published Monday, August 8, by scholars at the University of Chicago and Cornell University has found a connection between erectile dysfunction and the social networks shared by heterosexual men and their partners. They describe the situation as "partner betweenness." In such cases, a man's female partner has stronger relationships with his confidants than the man does in effect, the romantic partner comes between the man and his friends.

"Men who experience partner betweenness in their joint relationships are more likely to have trouble getting or maintaining an erection and are also more likely to experience difficulty achieving orgasm during sex," write sociologists Benjamin Cornwell at Cornell and Edward Laumann at UChicago.

Cornwell and Laumann argue that partner betweenness undermines men's feelings of autonomy and privacy, which are central to traditional concepts of masculinity. This can lead to overt conflict or problems with partner satisfaction and attraction.

The two studied data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, a comprehensive 2005 survey by NORC at UChicago, which included 3,005 people aged 57 to 85. The results were published in an article, "Network Position and Sexual Dysfunction: Implications of Partner Betweenness for Men," in the current issue of the American Journal of Sociology.

Erectile dysfunction, or ED, is common among men in the age group studied in the NSHAP. About one-third of the men in the survey experience ED, which increases as men age. Health conditions such as diabetes, heart problems and obesity can contribute to the condition, along with psychological and other factors.

The researchers took these sources of ED into account and found that even among men who were healthy and capable of having satisfying sexual relationships, there is increased risk for sexual problems when their partners have greater contact with the couple's shared friends.

"In general, while the majority of men have more contact with all of their confidants than their partners do, about 25 percent of men experience partner betweenness in at least one of their confidant relationships," said Laumann, the George Herbert Mead Distinguished Service Professor of Sociology at UChicago.

Cornwell, an assistant professor of sociology at Cornell, said the data reveal a strong association. "Partner betweenness is a significant predictor of ED: A man whose female partner has greater contact with some of his confidants than he does is about 92 percent more likely to have trouble getting or maintaining an erection than a man who has greater access than his partner does to all of his confidants."

In a surprising twist, the study found that as men age, the complications of having a partner who dominates shared confidant relationships wane. Among men in their late 50s and early 60s, the prevalence of ED more than doubles when the female partner is closer to a shared friend than the male partner is. The relationship all but disappears among men in their 70s and 80s.

Researchers suggest it is possible that older men have a different concept of masculinity than the younger men in the survey.

"Older men's greater focus on close, kin-oriented relationships increases their likelihood of adopting new definitions of masculinity that emphasize conveying experience and mentoring rather than independence and autonomy, and under these circumstances partner betweenness is less likely to trigger erectile dysfunction," Cornwell said.

Laumann said the study shows the value of understanding the connections between social relationships and health. "The results point to the importance of social network factors that are rarely considered in medical research network structure and the individual's position within it."

Cornwell and Laumann point out that it is generally beneficial for couples to have shared friends, who contribute to a sense of "couplehood" and provide a base of support for the relationship. Partner betweenness is an unusual situation, however.

NSHAP is a population-based study of health and social factors on a national scale. It aims to understand the well-being of older, community-dwelling Americans by examining the interactions among physical health, illness, medication use, cognitive function, emotional health, sensory function, health behaviors and social connectedness. It is by supported by the National Institutes of Health.


'/>"/>

Contact: William Harms
w-harms@uchicago.edu
773-702-8356
University of Chicago
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. New drug for kidney transplant recipients effective in humans
2. Dolphins May Warn of Health Risks in Humans
3. Humans Tree-Dwelling Ancestors May Have Also Walked Upright
4. Tiny Fish Might Help Humans Fix Damaged Hearts
5. Leveragepoint Names Jay Manson Vice President Sales For Online Value Management Tools
6. McGill-UBC project creates mouse grimace scale to help identify pain in humans and animals
7. Caring for Diabetic Pets Helps Humans Get Healthier
8. Hallmark Alzheimers disease changes found in retinas of humans and imaged in live animals
9. Public health systems compared: Germans more dissatisfied than the rest
10. Cancer-metabolism link runs deep in humans
11. Plant compound resveratrol shown to suppresses inflammation, free radicals in humans
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/25/2017)... ... ... Swissray is pleased to announce the release of the ELITE DXA, a new bone ... scan window, which is more than double that of existing bone densitometers. Historically, subjects ... an accurate total body bone density or body composition study. The ELITE DXA ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Digital Scientists, a software innovation lab specializing in web design ... Greenville, South Carolina location. The lab has set up shop at the renowned ... with South Carolina clients for years from our office here in Atlanta,” explains Digital ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... Mlynarek Insurance Agencies, a ... and business owners across eastern Michigan, is connecting with the Oxford/Orion FISH Food ... difficulties. , The Oxford/Orion FISH Food Pantry works to ensure homeless, hungry, and ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... March 24, 2017 , ... ... two panels at the Advanced ERISA Benefit Claims Litigation seminar in Chicago, Illinois. ... the Administrative Record, The majority of cases litigated under ERISA involve claims for ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... Judy Buchanan, co-owner of ... Frederick, MD. Judy says, “I am passionate about sharing Reiki as a holistic, ... difficult and challenging time.” , A Certified Medical Reiki™ Master trained by Raven ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/24/2017)... India , March 24, 2017 A ... market has been growing rapidly as the global sales of Adcetris ... the growth in the antibody drug conjugates market is driven by ... of cancer and wider therapeutic window offered by ADCs. ... Browse 3 Tables and 94 ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... report to their offering. ... The report provides separate comprehensive analytics for the US, ... , Asia-Pacific , Latin America , ... period 2015 through 2022. Also, a six-year historic analysis is provided for ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... , March 23, 2017  HealthMine surveys with ... 2017 revealed that health plan members want help from ... to stay engaged in their health, 2) help closing ... integrated platform for health and 5) relevant, real-time guidance. ... and lowering healthcare costs. A ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: