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10 Things You Need to Know Before You Contemplate Marriage

31/07/2014 17:07 BST | Updated 30/09/2014 10:59 BST

1. Younger men are less interested in getting married, but after the age of 26, men develop a stronger desire for marriage than women (South, 1993).

2. That's probably because men benefit more from marriage than women do, particularly as they get older (Kilmartin, 2007). Men who are not married have a 250% greater rate of mortality, compared with men who are married (Ross, Mirowsky, & Goldsteen, 1990).

3. For women, companionship in marriage and equality in decision making are associated with a lower risk of death (Hibbard & Pope, 1993).

4. From the 1960s to the beginning of the twenty-first century, men's contribution to

housework doubled, increasing from about 15% to over 30% of the total (Bianchi et al.,

2000, Fisher et al., 2006, Robinson & Godbey, 1997). Couples with more egalitarian attitudes and more flexible beliefs about gender roles share household tasks more equally (Kroska, 2004, Stevens et al., 2006).

5. Yet, in spite of vocal support for marital equality, women still do 70% of domestic labour and 82% of childcare (Herz, 2004, Fraad, 2001).

6. The 'time availability model' explains this discrepancy. It holds that the partner with more time available to allocate toward household labour is the one who does more household chores (Kroska, 2004). And generally speaking, the person who is least present in the home is... you guessed it, the man.

7. Similarly, the 'relative resources theory' posits that the partner who earns more money will do less housework (Brines,1993; Stevens, Minnotte, Mannon, & Kiger, 2006). Since women still earn 14.9% less, on average, than men for doing exactly the same job... well, you can see where I am going with this (The Fawcett Society, 2014).

8. It's a power thing. Because women have historically had less power than men in relationships, they have been tasked with the chores that are least valued, take the most amount of time, and need to be completed most frequently, often on a daily basis (Beckwith, 1992; Dempsey, 2000, Mannino & Deutsch, 2007).

9. It's also to do with the presumption that men are less emotionally invested in marriage. Research shows that partners who perceive themselves as less emotionally invested, also perceive themselves as having more power in the relationship (Sprecher & Felmlee, 1997; Sprecher, Schmeekle, & Felmlee, 2006).

10. Similarly, partners who perceive themselves to be more emotionally invested in having children (mostly women) are likely to be willing to assume a greater proportion of the labour associated with child care (Erchull et al 2010). Yep. Same as it ever was.