Married men make more money and get more promotions than single guys. They live longer, have less heart disease, drink less, smoke less weed, and experience less stress. Meanwhile, married women have less fulfilling sex lives and less free time than their husbands. They also have smaller paychecks. (They do get to keep smoking the same amount of weed). These factors help explain why women are less into marriage than men are. And they may also contribute to the gendered risk of gaining weight after getting hitched.The explanations in the first paragraph above don't really line up with those in the second. Married men might be healthier than unmarried men simply because their behavior is being monitored. Guys who are comfortable having a beer or two and smoking a joint or two while watching "Braveheart" and eating Pretzel Combos alone in their apartment might be somewhat less inclined to do so if a wife is watching. And if you drink less and smoke less weed, you're probably going to weigh less and generally be healthier. But then comes the claim that married men have the time and energy to maintain a steady weight, time that unmarried men allegedly don't have. I'm not sure about this -- is marriage really a time-saver? Do divorced men end up working out less?
Bluntly, marriage "is more beneficial for men than for women," write Ohio State University sociologists Dmitry Tumin and Zhenchao Qian. "Men after marriage do not gain [significant] weight because they enjoy a healthy lifestyle and receive stronger emotional support"—in other words, they've got the time, energy, and help to maintain a steady weight, thanks to the sacrifices of their spouses. Across the aisle, though, "the unsettling effect of a marriage for women may be strong enough to cause large weight gain." [emphasis added]
Thursday, August 25, 2011
According to Amanda Hess, recent research suggests that marriage is a better deal for men than for women. But there's a part of this I don't get: