Why married men tend to behave better

Dec 06, 2010

Researchers have long argued that marriage generally reduces illegal and aggressive behaviors in men. It remained unclear, however, if that association was a function of matrimony itself or whether less "antisocial" men were simply more likely to get married.

The answer, according to a new study led by a Michigan State University behavior geneticist, appears to be both.

In the December issue of the , online today, S. Alexandra Burt and colleagues found that less antisocial men were more likely to get married. Once they were wed, however, the itself appeared to further inhibit antisocial behavior.

"Our results indicate that the reduced rate of antisocial behavior in is more complicated than we previously thought," said Burt, associate professor of . "Marriage is generally good for men, at least in terms of reducing antisocial behavior, but the data also indicate that it's not random who enters into the state of marriage."

The study is the first to investigate the effects of marriage on antisocial behavior using a genetically informative twin sample to rule out the effects of on these associations. The researchers examined the data of 289 pairs of male twins. The twins were assessed four times, at ages 17, 20, 24 and 29.

The study found that men with lower levels of antisocial behavior at ages 17 and 20 were more likely to have married by age 29 (researchers refer to the act of entering into marriage as a selection process). This is noteworthy since previous studies found little support that selection process influenced reduced rates of antisocial behavior among married men.

Burt said her finding may differ from past studies because marital rates have declined significantly in recent years, whereas marriage was more of the norm in the 1950s, meaning selection likely wasn't much of a factor.

Once the men were married, rates of antisocial behavior declined even more. When comparing identical twins in which one twin had married while the other had not, Burt said, the married twin generally engaged in lower levels of antisocial behavior than did the unmarried twin.

Burt said it's unlikely that marriage inhibits men's antisocial behavior directly, but rather that marriage is a marker for other factors such as social bonding or less time spent with delinquent peers. Another factor that seems to be important is marriage quality; the effect of marriage on tends to be stronger in better marriages.

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SgntZim
4.3 / 5 (4) Dec 06, 2010
Hmm! Maybe getting regular sex helps to tone down the anti-social behaviour. Boxers refrain from sex before a fight, this helps to make you more aggresive. This study doesn't take into account whether the married men have children or not. Generally, men who have children are less aggresive than those who don't, unless the children are threatened. Then all hell breaks loose and if they think that marriage is a "selection programme" that process is below the "thinking" level unless you opt for arranged marriages. A piece of research that doesn't tell you anything that you don't already know.
freethinking
2.1 / 5 (12) Dec 06, 2010
If study after study shows that traditional marriage produces healther more stable and well adjusted kids, is better for society, better for men, better for women, reduces poverty. Why is society in general, Progressives in particular always trying to undermine marriage?

One theory that goes around is that disfunctional families is a boon for big government. Jail, wealfare, social services, police, programs, etc. all benefit from disfunctional families.
Ratfish
3 / 5 (6) Dec 06, 2010
If study after study shows that traditional marriage produces healther more stable and well adjusted kids, is better for society, better for men, better for women, reduces poverty. Why is society in general, Progressives in particular always trying to undermine marriage?


Don't you want gays to not commit crimes as well?
js81pa
3.8 / 5 (4) Dec 06, 2010
Oxytocin is the bonding hormone and the social hormone. More oxytocin = more sociable and probably increased likelihood of being more sensitive to it. IMO, I would be willing to bet a lot of criminals have low levels and this could be from not being shown love as a child, genetics or by having an unstable childhood.
ab3a
3 / 5 (3) Dec 06, 2010
Once again, a study proves the obvious. The question is whether men who choose to get married are less anti-social, or whether they become more sociable because of marriage. I tend to think the latter, especially when the marriage includes children.

Perhaps the whole issue is really one of child rearing.
wileruilaer
1 / 5 (1) Dec 07, 2010
After having visited this site for years, these comments finally forced me to register.

@freethinking: There is a saying written on the wall of a university in my country. Translated, I believe it goes something like: "It is good to think free, but better to think right". (Personally I might disagree, but that's beside the point) Your post made me remember that saying. The theory you mention seems to forget that all those social services are monetary sinkholes in most countries' budgets. Having to spend more would not be considered a boon. Being unable to afford neccesary services for "dysfunctional families" does not feel rewarding. Theories, after being formulated, should be tested against reality.

@ab3a: Surely you did notice that this article asks that very same question, and answers it (in short) in the first two lines?
ab3a
3.5 / 5 (2) Dec 07, 2010
@wileruilaer: The whole title and premise of this article is backwards. Instead of saying Marriage is good for socializing men, how about pointing out that men who help raise children or who want to raise children are less anti-social?

The problem is that isn't exactly the conclusion they drew or even the premise of their study. At this point I'm tempted to roll my eyes and say "Duh." Anyone with life experience in this area knows exactly why this is.

Perhaps the next study will seek to prove that Marriage and child rearing leads to better papers in Sociology.
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (4) Dec 07, 2010
Hmm! Maybe getting regular sex helps to tone down the anti-social behaviour.
They did say marriage. I'm guessing you've never been married.
If study after study shows that traditional marriage
Sorry, I don't see anything about traditional marriage, just marriage in general, bigot.
Oxytocin is the bonding hormone and the social hormone. More oxytocin = more sociable and probably increased likelihood of being more sensitive to it. IMO, I would be willing to bet a lot of criminals have low levels and this could be from not being shown love as a child, genetics or by having an unstable childhood.
This is the most reasonable answer however, one would wonder what the researchers classified as antisocial behavior.
aresq
3 / 5 (2) Dec 07, 2010
The reason for psychological studies: to test a philosophical question (about the mind/human psyche) in accordance with the scientific method.

You can roll your eyes and say 'duh' now, but how accurately can you predict these studies? (lookup hindsight bias)

Also please do not confuse correlation with causation.

"The study found that men with lower levels of antisocial behavior at ages 17 and 20 were more likely to have married by age 29"

This does not say the study proved anything. The study shows a correlation.
JoeFriday
2 / 5 (2) Dec 07, 2010
I believe the subject is much more complicated than simply saying marriage produces these effects. Being a never-married man who spends a fair amount of time with married men, I have to say that the married guys are generally much more aggressive and prone to illegal activity... when they are away from their wives. At the same time, married women often become 'girls gone wild' (to some extent) during their 'girls nights out'. Whereas I (and the single men I know) tend to be the voice of reason in the crowd. Why? Because we don't need to wait for a night out with the boys once a month to cut loose. We could do that any night. And for that reason, there's not much appeal to it after a certain age. The operative words being "after a certain age."

That is why I believe this study is the same as saying 'girls mature faster than boys.' I believe studies have shown that girls do mature faster than boys in earlier years. But boys do eventually catch up on the maturing curve.
freethinking
1.7 / 5 (6) Dec 07, 2010
SH Bigots are the progressives. Conservatives let people do wrong and suffer the consequences of their actions, however they will tell the truth about those actions.

Progressives will call conservatives all sorts of names when they don't agree with progressive lines of thought, force people to agree with progressive lines of thought, and lie about being tolerant.

Conservatives have always said if traditional marriage breaks down, x y and z will happen. Well x y and z has happened. Calling conservatives bigots for saying the truth is bigotry.
DGinGA
3 / 5 (2) Dec 07, 2010
I wonder how many of our tax dollars were spent for this stupid study. Gee, married men are less anti-social than single men. DUH!!! Except for the married men who abuse their wives and kids, that is. And the less anti-social a man is the more likely he will be to get married. DUH!!! Kind of flies in the face of the advice my mother always gave me to find the most anti-social guy out there and marry him quick before he gets away. NOT! When will we stop funding all of this absolutely useless research!
Skeptic_Heretic
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 07, 2010
SH Bigots are the progressives. Conservatives let people do wrong and suffer the consequences of their actions, however they will tell the truth about those actions.
Then why don't you Conservatives let the gays get married, instead of telling them they can't? Oh that's right, because you're a bigot.
Progressives will call conservatives all sorts of names when they don't agree with progressive lines of thought
Yeah, like equal rights, super progressive, especially in America.
force people to agree with progressive lines of thought
Actually I don't care if you agree with it or not, we have a Constitution that states all people shall have equal rights.
and lie about being tolerant.
I've never said I was tolerant of you, or your bigotry.

Conservatives have always said if traditional marriage breaks down, x y and z will happen. Well x y and z has happened.
So what exactly are x y and z and when did they start happening, Freebigot?
Mandan
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 07, 2010
If study after study shows that traditional marriage produces healther more stable and well adjusted kids, is better for society, better for men, better for women, reduces poverty. Why is society in general, Progressives in particular always trying to undermine marriage?

One theory that goes around is that disfunctional families is a boon for big government. Jail, wealfare, social services, police, programs, etc. all benefit from disfunctional families.


Divorce is obviously no good for Big Business at all though. Those extra cars, TVs, the duplicate furniture, appliances, clothing-- really everything in life-- and not a dime in there for your big, un-taxed corporations?

Those corporations-- they run advertising, Hollywood, the entertainment industry too? They spent three generations trying to convince people they won't be happy unless they have....(fill in favorite product)?

If only your reductive dualism was valid, but the world is bigger than your theory.
freethinking
2.7 / 5 (7) Dec 07, 2010
SH, Gays have the same rights I do. They can marry someone of the oposite sex. Oh right, you want them to have special rights.

Constitution is a very conservative document, thats why progressives want to make it a living document. It means whatever people what it to mean whenever they want it to mean that way. Conservatives if they want to change the constitution will change the words in it.

Poverty, child abuse, more children born out of wedlock, worse outcomes in education, more government control of daily lives. That is x y and Z and they started happening many years ago.

SH look in the mirror, the bigot is you. I'm tolerant of you and all people, however I've never claimed to be tolerant or supportive of your idiototic ideas that you and progressives believe in. There has never been a free and open society in which your ideas and beliefs were in control.
Modernmystic
3 / 5 (7) Dec 07, 2010
Big difference between tolerance and acceptance.

BIG difference.

If you tolerate something you're not a bigot. That's not what the left wants though, they want ACCEPTANCE. Hold your breath...please...
freethinking
2.3 / 5 (6) Dec 07, 2010
Thank you MM.... I agree and will rephrase,

SH I am tolerant of you and all people, however I've never claimed to accept or support your idiotic ideas you and progressives believe in.

I have friends of different religions and no religion. I also have a friend who is gay. They know my beliefs, many of which they don't accept, however they treat me, and I treat them with respect.

The left doesn't tolerate differences in opinion, religion, or beliefs.
Skeptic_Heretic
1 / 5 (3) Dec 08, 2010
SH, Gays have the same rights I do. They can marry someone of the oposite sex. Oh right, you want them to have special rights.
That's a bullshit argument and you know it.
Constitution is a very conservative document,
LOL
thats why progressives want to make it a living document.
Progressives like the founding fathers?
Conservatives if they want to change the constitution will change the words in it.
You do realize how dumb this sounds, right?
Poverty,
On the decline
child abuse
On the decline
more children born out of wedlock
On the decline
worse outcomes in education
That'd be the fault of people like yourself who deny evolution.
more government control of daily lives
The Drug war is Conservative. The anti-prostitution and morality laws are Conservative, the vice taxes and prohibition are conservative.
That is x y and Z and they started happening many years ago.
So as I thought, complete bullshit.
Skeptic_Heretic
1 / 5 (3) Dec 08, 2010
I have friends of different religions and no religion. I also have a friend who is gay. They know my beliefs, many of which they don't accept, however they treat me, and I treat them with respect.

The left doesn't tolerate differences in opinion, religion, or beliefs.
Big difference between tolerance and acceptance.

BIG difference.

If you tolerate something you're not a bigot. That's not what the left wants though, they want ACCEPTANCE. Hold your breath...please...

First, tolerance is when you don't accept something and you put up with it.
Acceptance is when you don't care either way.

I don't care what you think. You have a right to your opinion, and you have a right to express it.

I have a right to call you to the carpet, call you a bigot, and do just about anything I want in our political discourse. Freebigot, what you do not have the right to do is pass off lies as fact and get away with it. So if you're going to make these statements, prove em.
Skeptic_Heretic
1 / 5 (2) Dec 08, 2010
FYI: FB...

If you're going to say that the above issues are due to progressives, why are they only on the rise in Red states? Why are the vast majority of bastard children born in red states? Why do red states have higher per capita violent crime rates than blue states? Higher divorce rates? Higher teen pregnancy rates? Higher incidences of child abuse? The WORST educational scores?

Beyond that, why do they suck at the government teet for money to combat these problems 5x more than blue states?

Your philosophy is wrong, and entirely contrary to the evidence.
Modernmystic
3 / 5 (4) Dec 08, 2010
I have a right to call you to the carpet, call you a bigot, and do just about anything I want in our political discourse.


You sure do, but if you called me a bigot you'd be just as inaccurate as if you called me a carpet. You always struck me as a person who likes to be accurate...

Well I guess honestly there are a few things I'm bigoted against, but they are all about the choices people make, not about where they were born or what color their skin is...
Skeptic_Heretic
1 / 5 (2) Dec 08, 2010
Well I guess honestly there are a few things I'm bigoted against, but they are all about the choices people make, not about where they were born or what color their skin is...
That piece was directed at Mr. thoughtless, not yourself, however, the entire concept of choice is a very difficult one to make that basis on if you believe certain actions in life are by choice. Some things aren't a matter of choice.
freethinking
2 / 5 (4) Dec 09, 2010
SH, your the bigot and hater. I have more diverse friends and accept more diverse opinions than you do. I have strong Catholic friends, strong Baptist friends, Athiest friends, Mormon friends, and yet I do not agree with them on many points. I have black skinned friends, yellow skinned friends, brown skin friends.

I do not call children Bastards, just because of mistakes their parents made. I do not call people retarted.

Child abuse getting worse.
http://www.childh...atistics

People who live and push the progressive ideals have hurt a lot of people. People who fail to live up to conservative ideals get hurt.

For someone who claims not to be a progressive you sure defend them a lot. For someone who shouts others are bigots, your awful biggoted. Could it be you are lying again.
freethinking
2 / 5 (4) Dec 09, 2010
http://www.physor...nts.html

some more information to show SH is either ignorant, or is deliberately lying about things...
Skeptic_Heretic
1 / 5 (2) Dec 10, 2010
http://www.physor...nts.html

some more information to show SH is either ignorant, or is deliberately lying about things...

Might want to use an article that actually says something about gays rather than single parents having a harder time paying for college.

Out of curiosity, if progressive policy is the cause of child abuse, why are all the states at the top of the charts for child abuse a solid red color when it comes to voting blocks?
http://www.kydire...d-abuse/

Putting the facts in your face isn't bigotry. Putting facts in your face when you lie isn't supporting progressives.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Dec 10, 2010
Link is broke SH...
freethinking
2 / 5 (4) Dec 10, 2010
SH - Not sure of their stats, but the source quoted Every Child Matters Education Fund, said they are non-partisan group. The truth is they are about as left leaning, democrat supporting as one can get. Also as you know or should know, how one state tabulates stats are different from another.

So not only are you a bigot for calling inocent children Bastards, your sources lie about being non-partisan. If they lie about being non-partisan, how can you trust them with anything.

Skeptic_Heretic
1 / 5 (1) Dec 11, 2010
SH - Not sure of their stats, but the source quoted Every Child Matters Education Fund, said they are non-partisan group. The truth is they are about as left leaning, democrat supporting as one can get. Also as you know or should know, how one state tabulates stats are different from another.

So not only are you a bigot for calling inocent children Bastards, your sources lie about being non-partisan. If they lie about being non-partisan, how can you trust them with anything.


When you're at the north pole, every direction is south.

When you're ultra fascist right, as you are, everything appears to be from the left.
Link is broke SH...
Posting again, but it works for me.
http://www.kydire...d-abuse/
Quantum_Conundrum
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 11, 2010
Acceptance is when you don't care either way.


Wow, you just can't refrain yourself from lying, can you?

That is the definition of "Apathy" or "indifference", not "Acceptance".

taking or receiving something offered
favorable reception,approval, favor
even "belief or assent to..."

Therefore I proudly state that I do not "accept" alternative lifestyles, nor am I "apathetic" to them, because I consider them to be both unnatural and ungodly, which is also pretty obvious since they are typically followed by incurable diseases and wrecked households.

Th at isn't to say I don't care about people, because I understand that people are what they are because they are born in sin and typically in bondage of some sort of addiction or another as it regards sinful practises. It just surfaces more potentently in one sector of one person's life while in another sector of another person's life, but all are sinful.
trekgeek1
not rated yet Dec 12, 2010
If study after study shows that traditional marriage produces healther more stable and well adjusted kids, is better for society, better for men, better for women, reduces poverty. Why is society in general, Progressives in particular always trying to undermine marriage?

One theory that goes around is that disfunctional families is a boon for big government. Jail, wealfare, social services, police, programs, etc. all benefit from disfunctional families.


I'm not even going to bother checking your assertion. Let's just assume it's right. Which is better?
a.) Having children in orphanages.
b.) Children being adopted by two same sex parents who love them.
And if you're implying that we should only do what promotes healthy families, studies show that less religious people are more intelligent. Perhaps it is finally time to keep religious couples from raising children.
trekgeek1
not rated yet Dec 12, 2010


taking or receiving something offered
favorable reception,approval, favor
even "belief or assent to..."

Therefore I proudly state that I do not "accept" alternative lifestyles, nor am I "apathetic" to them, because I consider them to be both unnatural and ungodly, which is also pretty obvious since they are typically followed by incurable diseases and wrecked households.

Th at isn't to say I don't care about people, because I understand that people are what they are because they are born in sin and typically in bondage of some sort of addiction or another as it regards sinful practises. It just surfaces more potentently in one sector of one person's life while in another sector of another person's life, but all are sinful.


Christians lie every time they state Jesus is real. Don't get on people about lying when you're preaching the biggest lie of the universe. Listen to you, "incurable", "ungodly", "sinners". Take your beliefs and shove them up Christs ass.
ununhexium
5 / 5 (1) Dec 13, 2010
Christians lie every time they state Jesus is real. Don't get on people about lying when you're preaching the biggest lie of the universe. Listen to you, "incurable", "ungodly", "sinners". Take your beliefs and shove them up Christs ass.


Amen brother, LOL

Well Jesus probably was an actual person, so possibly not a lie on that point. The lie comes when they say and believe he was something above and beyond that. They can believe that lie all they want but they have the burden to prove their beliefs, and that will never happen. Then they’ll throw some quotes at you from their book of fairy tales.

They can believe as strongly as they want but just believing in something, anything, especially a book of fairy tales about made-up gods doesn’t make it true.