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Study: Men threatened by partner's success

Sunday - 9/15/2013, 2:03pm  ET

WASHINGTON - Do you think men are threatened by their partner's success? A new study says, "Yes, indeed."

The findings published in the American Psychological Association's Journal of Personality and Social Psychology shows that while men consciously cheer on the success of their mates, subconsciously, they are not too happy.

Researchers conducted two experiments. The first was with 32 couples from the University of Virginia. The men were told that their mate scored high marks on a test. The men said they were fine with that, with their "explicit self-esteem" intact.

But when testing their "implicit self-esteem," or their subconscious, it was found that the men felt threatened or felt a lack of self-esteem.

In the other study, 657 people, including 284 men, were asked online about the successes and failures of their mates. It was determined that men subconsciously felt worse about themselves when their mate succeeded.

The study suggests that a woman's success led men to question their own competence. A woman's self-esteem was not affected at all.

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