London - They are already out-earned by their wives.
But now it seems men married to high-flying women may also be underperforming in the bedroom.
A study found that husbands who earn less than their spouses are more likely to take Viagra and similar drugs than those who are the main breadwinners.
It is thought loss of pride, plus anger and frustration may all play a role.
Danish and US researchers began by studying salaries on the prescription data of more than 200,000 married couples. This revealed Viagra and other drugs for impotence to be particularly popular in households where the woman was the main earner.
The research, published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, said: “Even small differences in relative income are associated with large changes in erectile dysfunction medication usage when they shift the marriage from a male to a female breadwinner.”
The effect could be seen even when the wife’s salary was only slightly higher than the husband’s and a wage difference of £10,000 (about R120 000) in the woman’s favour doubled the odds of Viagra use.
But the phenomenon was not seen in couples in which the woman had always been the higher earner.
Instead, it was limited to those in which the wife’s wages overtook her husband’s, suggesting loss of pride may be at the heart of the matter.
In the US, the proportion of wives who earn more than their husbands has more than quadrupled in the last 20 years. In Britain around 1.4 million families rely on a high-earning woman whose partner is raising their children full-time, or works part-time. - Daily Mail