Why you should marry someone older or younger than you
Last night I was talking with my Meeting of the Minds discussion group and we discussed the new research that men who marry women 10+ years younger than themselves live longer than the average man while women who marry men 5 to 10 younger than themselves die younger than the average female. In fact, wives with husbands older or younger by between seven and nine years increase their chances of dying early by 20 percent. Now I have to add finding a guy my same age to my list of husband criteria. This is too hard. Here are links to a few depressing articles on this research: www.sindhtoday.net, http://in.news.yahoo.com I would love to hear your opinion.
Why do men marry younger women and why do women marry older men?, a study published in the journal Biology Letters, says the reason for these unions is that men prefer young women due to their high fertility while women prefer older men due to their wealth and high social status, which make them good providers for the offspring. Although this idea has been around for a long time, few studies have been done to show that this is true or have demonstrated that more and healthier children are the result.
Indeed, now Dr. Samuli Helle of the University of Turku has found the answer by studying the nomadic Sami, the "reindeer people" of Finland. Finnish parish records from the 17th to 19th century on three Sami populations, who depended on reindeer herding, fishing and hunting for their livelihoods, make it possible for researchers to disentangle the effects of medical progress on the number and lifespan of Sami men who married only once.
What they found was that the men maximized their "evolutionary fitness" - ability to pass on their genes to future generations - by marrying women who were 14.6 years younger, and vice versa. "Those men had the highest number of offspring surviving to adulthood," said Dr Helle, who did his study with Drs. Virpi Lummaa of the University of Sheffield and Jukka Jokela of the ETH in Zurich.