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D. The Benefits of Being A Married Man

Narrator: This is Science Today. Studies have shown married people tend to live longer than those who are single. But it turns out it's men who benefit most from marriage. Nicholas Christenfeld, a psychologist at the University of California, San Diego, says in terms of longevity and health, women are not as affected by matrimony.

Christenfeld: Married women live about the same period as single women.

Narrator: Christenfeld may have shed some light on why this is, in a social support study measuring the blood pressure of men and women giving public speeches in front of male and female audiences.

Christenfeld: Only female audiences are beneficial when they nod and smile and they're beneficial for both men and women. So a man giving a speech to a woman who' s nodding and smiling is comforted and his blood pressure is lower. A woman giving a speech to a nodding and smiling woman also is helped but neither men nor women are benefited in terms of blood pressure responses to this little task when it's a man who's giving exactly the same sort of feedback. It suggests the reason men benefit from marriage is that for the most part, they marry women and the reason women don't share the same benefits is that unfortunately they have to marry men!

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.