Friday, May 14, 2010

Being a 'cougar' can send a woman to an early grave

I guess it is very wicked of me but I do find the results below a bit amusing: Having a younger partner is GOOD for men but BAD for women! How unjust! I once married a woman 11 years older than me and she is still at age 77 in good health and full of beans so we should note that the effects described below are not strong and allow for many exceptions.

That men who have younger wives live longer is easy to explain. They probably have to be pretty fit and vigorous in the first place to attract younger women.

The finding about "cougars" does seem much harder to understand. The stress of keeping up with a younger man's lifestyle would seem to be the most likely explanation but that does seem rather facile to me. But I have no better explanation. Perhaps the younger guys DO just wear them out

Cougars beware – having a much younger husband can send a woman to an early grave. Experts warn that settling down with a ‘toy boy’ can reduce a woman’s life expectancy. However, older men with younger wives appear to live for longer.

Researchers said that while cougars, older women in their 30s and 40s who date much younger men, may believe that having a younger partner will help to keep them youthful the opposite appears to be true.

The phenomenon is epitomised by celebrities like Demi Moore, whose husband Ashton Kutcher is 16 years younger than her. A new television series on the idea, Cougar Town, stars Courtney Cox, the former Friends actress.

But despite the celebrity endorsements, researchers warned that cougars still face social pressure for dating much younger men. Their findings show that having a partner seven years younger increases a woman’s chances of dying earlier by 20 per cent.

Sven Drefahl, from the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, in Rostock, Germany, who carried out the research, warned: "The greater the age difference, the lower the wife's life expectancy. “The best choice for a woman is to marry a man of exactly the same age."

The study used statistics on two million Danish couples.

The findings also revealed that men who married younger women lived longer. "The mortality risk of a husband who is seven to nine years older than his wife is reduced by eleven per cent compared to couples where both partners are the same age," according to the report.

Dr Drefahl, a sociologist, believed that having a toy boy may mean more stress for women because they are "violating social norms and thus suffer from social sanctions." They could be regarded as outsiders and receive less social support, resulting in "a less joyful and more stressful life, reduced health, and finally, increased mortality," he said.

The findings are published in the journal Demography.


Good childcare for toddlers shows benefits in teenage years

Apparently, kids who were "farmed out" a lot in their earliest years ended up more socially pathological but kids who were farmed out only a little but to "high quality" care were less socially pathological in later life. I am inclined to think that this simply shows again that the best place for little kids is a loving home rather than any institutional environment

Those who receive a high level of care as young children are more intellectually able and less likely to misbehave ten years later, researchers found.

A team studied more than 1,300 children at the age of 15, looking at the type, quality and quantity of care they had received when younger.

Researchers looked at children born in ten cities across the US, ensuring a cross section included middle class, low income, two parent and single parent families.

It found that teens who attended programmes with higher-quality care during early childhood scored higher on tests of academic achievement than teens who attended programmes with lower-quality care.

Those who spent more hours in early child care during the first four-and-a-half years of their lives reported more risk-taking and greater impulsivity than teens who spent fewer hours in care.

And teens who participated in higher-quality child care programmes had fewer behaviour problems, such as rule-breaking, arguing, and hanging out with the wrong crowd, than teens who had attended poor-quality child care, according to the research published in the journal Child Development.

Lead author Prof Deborah Lowe Vandell, of the Univeristy of California, said: "This evidence of long-term effects of early child care quality is noteworthy because it occurred in a large economically and geographically diverse group of children who took part in routine nonrelative child care in their communities.

"These findings suggest that the quality of early child care experiences can have long-lasting, albeit small, effects on middle-class and affluent children, as well as those who are economically disadvantaged."


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