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Men choose romance over success

If you think men put their career before love, think again. A study says that men are more willing than the fairer sex to sacrifice achievement goals for a romantic relationship.

sex and relationships Updated: Aug 22, 2013 14:32 IST
men

If you go by the preconception that women prioritise relationships while men are more focused on themselves and their achievements, you're wrong. In fact, it's the other way round -- males put love before career.

A team of international researchers has carried out a study and found that men are more willing than the fairer sex to sacrifice achievement goals for a romantic relationship, the ScienceDaily has reported.

According to lead researcher Sharon Danoff-Burg of the University of Albany, "In our study, women have been strongly committed to working towards a successful career and therefore hesitant to abandon their goals for a romantic relationship."

"In contrast to women, men also appear to derive more emotional support from their opposite-sex relationships than their same-sex friendships."

Before coming to the conclusion, the team looked at whether personality traits influence students' life goals, and focused on the relative importance of romantic relationships and achievement goals in particular.

A total of 237 undergraduate students (80 men and 157 women aged 16 to 25 years), from the psychology department at a United States state university, completed questionnaires measuring personality traits and life goals.

In particular, the researchers looked at 'agency', or the focus on oneself and the formation of separations, including self-assertion, self-protection, and self-direction, as well as 'communion', or the focus on other people and relationships, which involves group participation, cooperation and formation of attachments.

In general, women tend to score higher on measures of communion whereas men tend to score higher than women on measures of agency.

Life goals included seven achievement goals -- physical fitness, travel, financial success, home ownership, contribution to society, career and education -- and five different types of relationships -- romantic, marriage, children, circle of friends and family ties.

The participants' willingness to sacrifice achievement goals for a romantic relationship was also examined.

Overall both college men and women showed strong desires for individual achievement and relational intimacy. As expected, self-focus was linked to the importance of achieving such as having a successful career.

Focus on others was related to importance of having meaningful relationships and making a contribution to society.

Unexpectedly however, men were more likely than women to give priority to a romantic relationship when asked to choose between a relationship and their career, education and travelling.

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