Marriage Minutes: Daughters Don't Cause Divorce; Your Marriage May Need Some Sugar
New research into why couples with daughters are more likely to divorce offers a new explanation and your next fight could be prevented with a candy bar.
The following is a round-up of news items compiled by the Hitched editors during the week of July 17, 2014.
Daughters Don't Cause Divorce, They're The Survivors
There has been a lot of research over the years identifying that couples with daughters are more likely to divorce than those with sons. In 1988, researchers Philip Morgan, Diane Lye and Gretchen Condran released a paper "Sons, Daughters, and the Risk of Marital Disruption." In it they found that sons reduce the risk of a divorce by 9%. Since then, other research has stated that daughters can increase the rate of divorce anywhere from 1-5%. There have also been many theories over the years as to why couples with daughters divorce more, ranging from men prefer boys to daughters are more emotionally intelligent and are able to be supportive of their mothers in a time of stress. New research titled, "Do Daughters Really Cause Divorce? Stress, Pregnancy, and Family Composition," from Duke University economist Amar Hamoudi; and co-author Jenna Nobles, a University of Wisconsin-Madison sociologist have a new explanation—and it begins much earlier. In short, girls are tougher than boys from conception til death. Their research focused on the robustness of female embryos, which they suggest may be better able to withstand stresses to pregnancy, including stresses from relationship conflict. "Girls may well be surviving stressful pregnancies that boys can’t survive," Hamoudi said. "Thus girls are more likely than boys to be born into marriages that were already strained." In fact, the researchers were able to predict the sex of children based on a couples' earlier level of conflict. Women who reported higher levels of marital conflict were more likely in subsequent years to give birth to girls, rather than boys.
Your Marriage May Need A Little Sugar
When your spouse rolls over in bed and tells you they want a little sugar, it might be beneficial to literally give them some sugar. Lead researcher of the paper, "Low glucose relates to greater aggression in married couples," Brad Bushman from Ohio State University, gave 107 married couples a voodoo doll and 51 pins. Over the course of 21 days he would ask them to push pins into the voodoo doll at night as a representation of how angry they were with their spouse and blast loud noises through headphones at their spouse. While anger levels were getting measured so were glucose levels. Turns out, the lower the level of glucose in the blood, the greater number of pins participants stuck into the voodoo doll, and the higher intensity and longer duration of noise participants set for their spouse. So if you find yourself getting upset with your spouse, perhaps you should literally take a halftime break and replenish with some orange slices. The University of California San Francisco has posted this simple list of foods, snacks and drinks to help treat low blood sugar.