TUESDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- When an older man's wife or
girlfriend has a stronger bond with his friends than he does, his
performance in the bedroom tends to suffer, a new study shows.
In fact, the researchers found that men who find themselves in
this situation "are more likely to have trouble getting or
maintaining an erection and are also more likely to experience
difficulty achieving orgasm during sex," compared to couples where
there's a clearer line between his friends and hers, wrote study
authors Benjamin Cornwell, a professor of sociology at Cornell
University, and Edward Laumann, a professor of sociology at the
University of Chicago.
In the study, published online Aug. 8 in the
American Journal of Sociology, the researchers analyzed a national survey of more than 3,000 people ranging in age from 57 to 85.
They believe that when a female partner comes between a
middle-aged or older man and his best friends, it may undermine his
feelings of independence and privacy.
Ultimately, the researchers argued, this scenario leads to
significant problems with the couple's partner satisfaction, in
terms of sexual attraction and the man's own sense of his
masculinity. As a result, older men in this situation are more
likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction, the study authors
The findings also suggest that links between social
relationships and sexual health should not be ignored.
"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," Laumann said in a Cornell University news release.
The U.S. National Institutes of Health provides more information