Report: Marriage makes men dumber

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Disclaimer: I love my wife and kids.

“Marriage is the unsuccessful attempt to make something lasting out of an incident.”
- Albert Einstein

“All marriages are dangerous”
- Albert Einstein

Satoshi Kanazawa, a psychologist at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, recently conducted a study of 280 of the world’s most important scientists, drawing samples from the fields of mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology. What he found was that when comparing the the ages of the scientists during the periods when they were at their most prolific and brilliant, there was a drastic fall off beginning around the age of 30, and this decline continued to worsen with age.

When he then compared this decline to the marital history of the scientists, he found that the decline was noticeably less in scientists who were unmarried, and these “bachelors of science” (sorry) were actually still producing amazing research well into their 50′s, while their married counterparts were not.

“The productivity of male scientists tends to drop right after marriage,” writes Kanazawa. “Scientists tend to ‘desist’ from scientific research upon marriage.”

So why is this? Well, my theory is why bother researching when you are married to a woman who already thinks she has all the answers? :) Of course, Kanazawa has a more evolutionary take:

“Men conduct scientific research (or do anything else) in order to attract women and get married (albeit unconsciously),” he says. “What’s the point of doing science (or anything else) if one is already married? Marriage (or, more accurately reproductive success, which men can usually attain only through marriage) is the goal; science or anything else men do is but a means. From my perspective, scientists are no different than anybody else; evolutionary psychology applies to all humans equally,” he adds.

Kanazawa’s laziness argument makes sense. After all, both men and women tend to let themselves go physically after marriage, so why not mentally as well? These findings also lend support to my own research theory that single men are the smartest people on the planet.


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