A new study released by the Institute for Family Studies claimed that men benefit from being married. It debunked the image of marriage as a ball and chain or prison for men.
The research said that the benefits of marriage are substantial by every conceivable measure. It includes money, a better sex life, and better physical and mental health. However, the study, titled “Man & Marriage: Debunking the Ball and Chain Myth,” admitted that marriage also requires sacrifice. However, it claimed the sacrifice pays for itself and more.
Despite the many benefits of marriage to men, the study noted that many men still have a negative stigma regarding marriage. This is evident in the declining marriage rate, especially among young men, the Catholic News Agency reported.
The study said that married men earn 10 to 40 percent more than single men, are less likely to be fired, and tended to be more successful in business. Even men who were married and divorced did better in their careers than single men.
It cited the results of the National Health and Social Life Survey that showed 51 percent of married men were extremely satisfied with their sex lives. But only 39 percent of cohabiting men and 36 percent of single men gave the same response. The higher sexual satisfaction comes from being in a lasting relationship because the man and his wife are making long-term investments in intimacy.
Men who remain married have a longer lifespan. They outlive single men by about 10 years. The study explained it to managing illness better by monitoring each other’s health and adopting healthier lifestyles.
There was less depression and more overall happiness among married men than single men because being married boosted social and emotional health. The study cited the results of the General Social Survey that found 43 percent of married men in the age range of 20 to 39 were very happy with their lives. Only 20 percent of single men said they are very happy.
The report acknowledged the unwillingness of many men to marry because of the fear that marriage would be a blow to their freedom and because they are ignorant of the multitude of marital benefits. The authors said that these negative perceptions must change as it called on journalists, social scientists, and policymakers to be responsible for making the good news about marriage more widely known.
Marrying too young
However, another study in Canada warned that getting married too young can also be dangerous to mental health. Matt Johnson, an associate professor at the University of Alberta, gathered data from almost 1,000 residents of Edmonton who were high school seniors in the 1980s. Researchers followed them up at different points in their lives until they turned 50 a few weeks ago.
The study confirmed previous research that getting married boosts wellbeing because married people were less depressed, were happier, and had higher self-esteem than single people. Johnson said that when the researchers looked specifically at the timing of marriage and found that those who married on time or late compared to their peers were less depressed than average.
However, they also found that when people marry ahead at a younger age than the average of 25 for women and 28 for men, the problems begin. Johnson said that getting married early was a risk factor for more depression.
He explained that they ended schooling sooner, began working earlier, and had children sooner. The result was that they ended in jobs they did not aspire for or did not want but they had to take it because of the demands in the other ways of their life. However, if they married later, they got more education, ended up with higher paying jobs, and were a bit happier in mid-life.
Lowest rate of marriage
Meanwhile, Romper reported that millennials are on track for having the lowest rate of marriage by age 40 compared to any previous generation, CNN Money said. The data from the Urban Institute discovered that if the current marriage rates continue and if more than 30 percent of millennial women in the US remain single by age 40, their number will be almost two times that their counterparts from Generation X.
Only 26 percent of people in the age group 18 to 22 were married by March 2014. Most of them are likely millennial women. But according to the Pew Research Center report, the millennials are in no rush to get married compared to members of the previous generation such as the Baby Boomers and Gen X. When they were in the 18-to-33 age group, 36 percent of Gen X and 48 percent of Baby Boomers were married by then.
Experts explain the late marriages to the decrease in importance given to marrying as more American prefer just to live in and raise families without getting married. During the Great Recession, marriage rates fell as people had difficulty finding first jobs and establishing their careers before moving into marriage.
[researchpaper 리서치페이퍼= Vittorio Hernandez 기자]