Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Perils & Blessings of Marrying Younger Partners: Sorry Girls

A new study from Germany's Max Planck Institute reports that men who marry older women are 11% more likely to die early. In contrast, older men who marry women that are younger than them by between 15 to 17 years are 20% less likely to die early. Men who marry women seven to nine years their junior are 11% likely to live longer, as well.

Sadly the news is not so positive for women! Women who have an age difference of between seven to nine years with their husbands (whether older or younger) were 20% more likely to die early, and where the age difference is between 15 to 17 years, the likelihood increases to 30%.

One of the explanations (which I'm not sure I believe) as to why men live longer in May-December relationship is because of natural selection; i.e., older men who are able to attract a younger woman are in general more virile or successful. Another explanation is that these men live longer because younger women are better able to care for them. The study does not pose any theories as to why women are doomed if they date older or date younger, but one woman has suggested that if women are dating older men, they’re run ragged by attending to grumpy old men, and if they’re dating younger, they’re worn out by trying to keep up with their mates. Anybody have any other theories?


Moxymama said...

That is interesting. I don't have any new ideas as to why the discrepancy, though.

TammyIsBlessed said...

Very interesting.

15 - 17 yr age difference just seems to weird to me!

Lifelines said...

Interesting! My widowed mother-in-law has been content to stay unmarried for the past 11 years because, as she puts it, "I don't want to be somebody's nurse or somebody's purse." She probably doesn't know that she is living longer because of this choice not to marry (an older or younger man). :)