View Full Version : Married Men Are Nicer, and Here's Why

04-27-2012, 12:28 AM
Men tend to behave better when they're married, both because marriage likely helps improve their behavior, and nicer men are more likely to be married in the first place, a new study reports.
The researchers found that men with fewer nasty qualities were more likely to eventually end up married. But among men who did marry, some showed signs indicating that their bad behavior decreased after the union.

These findings address a long-standing debate among researchers, concerning why married men display fewer qualities associated with antisocial personality disorder, such as criminal behavior, lying, aggression, and lack of remorse. Is it because marriage reforms them, or because men with more of these nasty traits are less likely to get married in the first place?

The answer: A little bit of both, study author Dr. S. Alexandra Burt at Michigan State University told Reuters Health. Married men "are just not as antisocial to begin with," she said. "And when they get married, they get even less antisocial. So both things are going on."

Burt and her colleagues adopted a "novel approach" to investigate the link between marriage and antisocial personality disorder, said Dr. Ryan King at the University at Albany, SUNY, who was not involved in the study.

Specifically, they followed 289 pairs of male twins for 12 years, between the ages of 17 and 29. More than half of the twins were identical, meaning they shared all of their genes - and, largely, their childhood environment, as well, since both were raised in the same household.

The authors found that men who eventually married during the study period, about 60 percent of them, showed less antisocial behavior at ages 17 and 20, suggesting that men with more of these traits are less likely to get married in the first place. Specifically, they found that by the age of 29, unmarried men had an average of 1.3 antisocial behaviors, compared with 0.8 among married men.

However, among identical twins in which one was married and one wasn't, the married twin had fewer antisocial behaviors after the union than the unmarried twin. Given that identical twins, with their similar genetics and childhood environments, are likely to have the same antisocial tendencies, these findings indicate that marriage helped weed out those bad behaviors.

"Not everyone is equally likely to enter the institution of marriage," King said. "But those that do enter into it get some benefit from it."

It's not clear why men's behaviors might improve after marriage, he noted. Married men may spend more time with their spouses than their friends, King said, and bad behaviors such as delinquency and binge drinking tend to be group activities. In addition, married men "have more to lose" if they're caught doing illegal activities, and may care what their spouses think.

It's also not clear why men with more antisocial behaviors may not marry in the first place, Burt said. They are probably not the most eligible bachelors, she noted. "You may not be looking to settle down with someone who's prone to aggression, theft, and other things." And for men with these tendencies, marriage may not be so appealing, she added.

Whether the same trend is true in women is also not clear, Burt noted, since women are less likely to have antisocial behaviors in the first place.

The results, presented in the Archives of General Psychiatry, help explain the consistent findings from other studies that men who are married commit fewer crimes. One recent study, for example, showed marriage was associated with a 35 percent reduction in crime.

Historically, studies have also found that married people as a group tend to be healthier than singles, though recent research suggests the health advantage of marriage may be fading. Still, people with spouses tend to live longer, be less depressed, and suffer less from heart disease and stroke.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2010/12/07/married-men-nicer-heres/#ixzz1tCwtZwQ2

04-27-2012, 12:31 AM
The older prisoners on Lock-Up seem quite tame as well.

04-27-2012, 10:01 AM
The older prisoners on Lock-Up seem quite tame as well.

Now, now....bitter, bitter..

I find the subject interesting for a couple of reasons.
First of all, I make a conscious effort to be a good husband. Vacuum floor, do dishes, listen to the wife when she speaks, and be patient, patient, patient....
I've been married twice; once for 17 years, and this one for 22 years. She makes me crazy sometimes, yes, but we're OK. I can see how being married has made me a better person.

But I have a single brother who is nothing like me. He displays all of the antisocial personality traits listed in the article. Lives alone on a sailboat that rarely goes to sea. Married once for a few years about 30 years ago. Rude. Hard to get to know unless he wants something from you - then he can be outright charming. Hasn't seen anyone in his family for 20 years. His mother, in about 30.

There was a time when he wasn't like that. He's always been a little rude, opportunistic and suspicious so it's not surprising that decent women have given him a wide berth, but as he has gotten older he has gotten worse. Chicken? Egg? Who knows? I think the article has several facets of truth in that not being a good partner choice creates a permanently single person, and being permanently single exacerbates the negative personality traits already in place.

Straight or gay, we all need permanent partners, I feel.

04-27-2012, 10:55 AM
Straight or gay, we all need permanent partners, I feel.

It certainly sounds like a good idea. I simply can't cut and paste myself in that picture. I know it's not the same, but living with roommates would have to be some sort of training for marriage. I can't say that I have had thebest of luck with roommates. It starts out OK, then slowly but surely the behaviors get on my nerves.

• I have no need to "wind down". I can have a spirited discussion about politics after a long day at work, look at the clock and say, "Well, time for bed." Go to bed and be asleep in 15 minutes.

• I have no patience with people who get upset about what has been said and require time to come back to normal. I don't carry grudges and I don't like teenage behavior.

• I am not responsible for how you respond to what I say or do. (thank you Werner Erhard)

• The bathroom vanity surface is not your personal storage space. If I can keep all my stuff in a tote in the linen closet, then so can you.

• Why is it so hard to figure out my towel system? I worked in hotels for years, and it works very nicely.

• OK, so asking you to keep all candy, cookies, and peanut butter in your room is a bit strange, but I have explained that for some reason I cannot resist these foods. If you want to keep treats in the fridge that will still be there four days later, learn to love radishes. I guarantee you that I will never eat your radishes.

04-27-2012, 11:28 AM
Mmmmm, radishes with salt and ranch dip!