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Home Science Health Older woman, younger man bad for the cougar

According to 2010 German research, a younger husband for a woman shortens her life more than marrying a man of her same age and even more for an older husband.

 


Movie actresses and entertainers such as Demi Moore, Madonna, Halle Berry, and Susan Sarandon have popularized the 'cougar' culture of older women marrying younger men.

From a life expectancy standpoint of such a relationship, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (DPIDR), in Rostock, Germany, studied two million Danish couples.

They found that women have the longest life expectancy when they marry a man of their exact same age (plus or minus one or two years). An older husband shortens her life expectancy, and a younger husband shortens her life expectancy even more.

The German study, lead by Swedish sociologist Sven Drefahl, who is also associated with the Department of Sociology at Stockholm University, stated that there is an approximate 20% decrease in life expectancy when a woman marries a man 7 to 9 years younger than her, and almost the same percentage decrease in life expectancy when she marries a man 7 to 17 years older than her.

Is this bad news for women marrying older or younger men also poignant for men?

The May 13, 2010 Forbes article 'The Cougar Backlash,' states, 'As if that isn't bad enough, the study also concludes that this early death syndrome affects only women who marry outside their immediate age range. Not so for men who have years added to their lives when they marry younger women.'

 

 

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The German article was published in May 2010 within the journal Demography, which is a publication of the non-profit professional organization of demographers called Population Association of America.

For additional information on the subject, please read the May 13, 2010 Bloomberg/Business Week article 'Women Who Marry Younger Men May Die Earlier.'

Dr. Dretahl is quoted in the article. He states, "One of the few possible explanations is that couples with younger husbands violate social norms and thus suffer from social sanctions."

 

 

 

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William Atkins

William Atkins completed educational degrees in science (bachelor’s in physics and mathematics) from Illinois State University (Normal, United States) and business (master’s in entrepreneurship and bachelor’s in industrial relations) from Western Illinois University

 

 

 

 

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