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For better or worse: ACT II

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  • For better or worse: ACT II

    Marriage stifles men's creativity, study shows
    11 July 2003

    Health warning for men: marriage may damage your creativity.


    Psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa, post-doctoral fellow at the Canterbury University
    has found men's creativity is stifled by being married with children.

    Dr Kanazawa researched the ages at which 280 famous scientists did their most
    notable work. He found they were highly competitive in early adulthood but tended
    to "turn off" when they were married and had families.

    Having previously found that criminals generally ceased offending at the same
    time, he was "struck by the similarity".

    Next, he studied musicians, painters, and authors and found the pattern repeated.

    His work, which is to be published in the Journal of Research in Personality,
    shows that men evolved to seek successful careers as a way of attracting wives.
    Once the attraction is accomplished, the drive to succeed departs.

    "Men just do not feel like producing any more."

    It is not that men are dragged down by marriage or families but the lack of
    creativity comes from within themselves, he said.

    Dr Kanazawa believes it is associated with declining levels of testosterone,
    linked to the consummation of their search for a mate.

    His research did not explain genius. He could not say why Paul McCartney was the
    greatest rock and roll composer of the last 50 years - and Ringo Starr wasn't. But
    he could say why McCartney wrote all his best stuff years ago.

    It was more than a matter of age alone. The few men who remained unmarried still
    produced symphonies later in life, he said.

    Dr Kanazawa's brow darkened when asked if he was proof of his own theory. At 40
    and married, though with no children, he hoped he had not done his best work
    already.

    However, he did this research before he was married. So, now, maybe...

    That will not be Canterbury's problem. Dr Kanazawa leaves this month to take up a
    lectureship at the London School of Economics.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,2565824a10,00.html





  • #2
    For better or worse: ACT II

    "v" <[email protected]> writes:
    First, we are talking about an empirical study here. And it is not research into some fundamental property of 'men'. It is just a statistical observation - perhaps a very well done one.
    Well done? I doubt that. A well-done study would have a control
    group. Half the participants would be made to get married at, say,
    30, and half would be prohibited from long-term relationships. Then
    compare the results at 50.

    Obviously one can't do that, but it is clear that any study like this
    is pretty weak. What are the _other_ differences that come with
    getting married (for example, getting older)?

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