Seems there’s yet another front in the battle of the sexes.

A new study conducted by Cornell University and the University of Chicago indicates that a wife who is too close with the male friends of her husband may be inadvertently undermining his masculinity, leading to elevated rates of erectile dysfunction.

Researchers call it “partner betweenness” — or how much the wife is between her partner and his friends. Too much of it can cause “overt conflict or problems with partner satisfaction and attraction,” which, in turn, can cause sexual dysfunction.

The study, supported by the National Institutes of Health and published in the current issue of the American Journal of Sociology, sought to explore the connection between social relationships and health.

“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,” said the paper’s lead authors. “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.”

[The Globe and Mail]

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