Men may not believe it, but a new study has found that they tend to have healthier relationships when dating a feminist than when dating a non-feminist.
Not only for men, it is equally important for women to know that being a feminist can actually improve the quality of their intimate relationships.
The general perception of the society focuses on a direct conflict between feminism and romance.
Therefore, Laurie Rudman and Julie Phelan, from Rutgers University in the US, carried out a study to challenge this perception.
They conducted a laboratory survey of 242 American undergraduates and an online survey including 289 older adults who were more likely to have had longer relationships and greater life experience.
They looked at the perception of men and women of their own feminism and its link to relationship health, measured by a combination of overall relationship quality, agreement about gender equality, relationship stability and sexual satisfaction.
The findings of the survey showed that having a feminist partner was associated with healthier heterosexual relationships for women. Men with feminist partners also reported both more stable relationships and greater sexual satisfaction.
Therefore, the results clearly indicated that feminism improve the quality of romantic relationships.
The study also shows that unflattering feminist stereotypes, that tend to stigmatise feminists as unattractive and sexually unappealing, are unsupported.
The researchers also examined the validity of feminist stereotypical beliefs amongst their two samples, based on the hypothesis that if feminist stereotypes are accurate, then feminist women should be more likely to report themselves as being single, lesbian, or sexually unattractive, compared with non-feminist women.
The authors found no support for this hypothesis amongst their study participants. In fact, feminist women were more likely to be in a heterosexual romantic relationship than non-feminist women.
They concluded that feminist stereotypes appear to be inaccurate, and therefore their unfavourable implications for relationships are also likely to be unfounded.
The new study is published in Springer's journal Sex Roles.