When your spouse or significant other earns a promotion at work, you are happy for him right? If you’re a woman, the answer to that question is probably yes. If you’re a male, though, the answer might be no. A new study from researchers at the University of Florida and the University of Virginia reveals that males feel threatened when their female partner is successful, and they have poor self-esteem to blame.

“It makes sense that a man might feel threatened if his girlfriend outperforms him in something they’re doing together, such as trying to lose weight,” said the study’s lead author, Kate Ratliff, PhD, of the University of Florida. “But this research found evidence that men automatically interpret a partner’s success as their own failure, even when they’re not in direct competition.”

Hold on ladies — it gets worse. Men actually felt worse when their partners succeeded than they did when the female partners failed. Yes, men feel better about themselves when their female significant other fails. 

This interesting male trait isn’t limited to American men. Researchers determined that the results were similar to two other studies conducted in the Netherlands. Dutch women are lucky because they face one of the smallest gender gaps in the world according to the United Nations Gender Equality Index. Despite this smaller gap, Dutch men are still disappointed when their female partner succeeds.

I’ve been re-watching the Showtime series "The Tudors" this week and while today’s gender gap is certainly much smaller than it was during King Henry VIII’s time, it amazes me that after 500 years there is still a noticeable and measurable division between the sexes. 

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