Apparently getting married helps in improving a man’s behaviour, according to researchers. They found traits associated with anti-social personality disorders such as criminal behaviour, lying, aggression and a lack of remorse after men tied the knot. However, the researchers at Michigan State University also found that ‘nicer’ men were more likely to get married than those with anti-social traits. Dr. Alexandra Burt, who led the study, said: ‘Married men are just not as anti-social to begin with. And when they get married, they get even less anti-social.’ In the study, presented in the December Archives of General Psychiatry, Dr. Burt and her colleagues followed 289 pairs of male twins for 12 years, from age 17 to age 29.
More than half of the twins were identical. Men who married during the study period, about 60 per cent of them, showed less anti-social behaviour at ages 17 and 20, suggesting that men with more of these traits are less likely to get married in the first place. By the age of 29, unmarried men had scored an average of 1.3 anti-social behaviours on a scale devised by the researchers, 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 anti-social behaviours after the union than the unmarried twin. Given that identical twins, with similar genetics and childhood environments are likely to have the same anti-social tendencies, this indicates that marriage helped weed out bad behaviour.
It’s not clear why men’s behaviour might improve after marriage, said Ryan King at the University of Albany, State University of New York, who was not involved in the study. Married men may spend more time with their spouse than their friends, and bad behaviour such as delinquency and binge drinking tend to be group activities, he noted. In addition, married men ‘have more to lose’ if they’re caught doing illegal activities, and may care what their spouse think. ‘Not everyone is equally likely to enter the institution of marriage, but those that do enter into it get some benefit from it,’ King said.
The results help explain consistent findings from other studies that men who are married commit fewer crimes. A recent study, for example, showed marriage was associated with a 35 per cent reduction in crime. 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. But married people tend to live longer, be less depressed and suffer less from heart disease and stroke.
Courtesy: Mail Online