Study: Marriage Has More Benefits for Men than for Women3
According to a German study, men live longer when they are married. Other studies have indicated that men who have younger wives lived longer, which made people assume that women with younger husbands would live longer too, but it turned out not to be so.
A study from the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock, Germany shows that the bigger the age difference a women has between her and her husband, the lower her life expectancy, regardless of whether he is significantly older or significantly younger.
For men, studies show that the younger their wife is, the more beneficial it is for them. When a man is seven to nine years older than his wife, he is likely to live longer by 11% than a man who is the same age as his wife. This does not work in the reverse – a man who is younger than his wife is likely to die earlier.
For a long time, researchers assumed that because men who have significantly younger wives lived longer then women with significantly younger husbands also did the same. They assumed that this was “health selection”. They thought that younger partners had positive psychological effects on their older spouses and that that those who chose younger partners were typically healthier and therefore likely to live longer.
According to researcher, Sven Drefahl from MPIDR, “It appears that the reasons for mortality differences due to the age gap of the spouses remain unclear.” Actually the best thing for a woman to do is to marry someone who is the same as as her since both a younger and an older partner are both likely to shorten her life span.
In the U.S. the average man is about 2 years older than his wife. It has been found that most women don’t have younger husbands, not because they can’t find them but because they generally don’t want them. One of the possible reasons that women have shorter life spans when they marry younger men is that they are going against social norms which can make their lives more stressful.
Even though men generally benefit more from having a younger spouse and from marriage in general, both men and women live longer when married as compared to people who never get married at all.