Relationships Work Better If Women Wear The Pants, Science Says

by Jamie LeeLo

Surprise, everyone. Just in time for International Women's Day, science confirmed everything, including your relationship, is way better off if a woman is running the show.

According to a study published in The Journal of Sex Research, men seem to care substantially less if their female partner wears the pants in their relationship than if the roles were reversed.

So basically, while power struggles within relationships are very common, if a female finds herself with less power in a relationship, researchers found it takes a much greater emotional toll on her.

And why might that be? OH, well, it could have something to do with the years and years of gender inequality women have historically been subjected to.

Associate professor at the UB School of Social Work, Laina Bay-Cheng, explained, "Inequality within a relationship doesn't cost men as much because they are still cushioned by a broader system of male privilege."

Even with the misogyny I've experienced firsthand, it's little truth nuggets like this that consistently blow my mind. However, it makes so much sense.

Relationships built during young adulthood are incredibly formative, and the roles, behaviors and experiences both men and women observe during this time will often become patterns throughout their lives.

It makes sense, then, that if women are taught at a young age that they are the lesser sex, any other events that build upon that lesson, especially in a heterosexual relationship, will obviously trigger feelings of inequality.

Bay-Cheng continued,

When men are subordinate in a relationship, it doesn't bother them very much. They don't see those relationships as less intimate or stable than relationships in which they are dominant. But for young women, having less power in a relationship is associated with diminished intimacy and stability and comes with greater risk of abuse.

In the study, Bay-Cheng utilized an online calendar that allowed participants to mark their sexual experiences from adolescence to early adulthood.

The types of things users could record include text, audio files, images or even emojis, which helped Bay-Cheng and her team collect a more meaningful understanding of their study.

And through a close look at their data, it became clear relationships are more successful if the power tips in the women's favor. 

Fortunately, on International Women's Day today, the stage is ours, ladies. Rock your red (or put on those power pants) and remind everyone who really runs the world.

(Which is Beyonce, of course, but THEN, it's the rest of the women in the world.)

Citations: Unequal distribution of power in young adult relationships more harmful to women (ScienceDaily)