Ivory Towers: Similarity breeds content
Wednesday 21 July 1993
The research was based on questionnaire responses, with two items in a long list designed to measure whether the respondents regretted their marriage: 'Have you ever thought of divorcing?' and 'Would you marry the same person again?' Two further questions were included to identify whether respondents thought their spouses unpleasant: 'How often do you have a serious row?' and 'Is your husband/wife really nasty to you?'
Together, those questions gave a measure of satisfaction with which other answers could be correlated. The other items covered a range of items including health, wealth, beauty, intelligence and happiness.
The conclusions confirmed earlier studies in the United States that had shown husbands and wives to be generally similar, and the more similar they are, the happier and more stable their relationships. 'Another widespread criterion is male dominance, which females in several primate species seem to find desirable in a mate.'
The British study confirmed the desirability of similarity and male dominance, 'but excessive husband dominance reduced satisfaction'. There was no support for the view that husbands should earn more, be better educated or have wealthier parents than their wives, all of which have been found to make for happy marriages in America. In Britain, however, there was 'qualified support' for the view that dominant men marry attractive women. Also 'husbands tended to regret the marriage significantly less often if their wife was more attractive than they'.
Review: Imaginative storytelling returns with vigourfilm
Bannatyne leaves Dragon's DenTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
- 2 Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber pass £170,000 on eBay
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’