Women and Marriage: They Are Just Not That Into It Some important studies and reviews of studies find no reliable sex differences, and when there are, it is women who seem most disillusioned by marriage.An example of research that found no sex differences is the longest-running study of longevity, which has been going on since 1912 (discussed here).Remember that results of studies are always averages, and do not capture the experiences of everyone.
The bottom line about sex differences, though, is that there aren’t any.
As Naomi Gerstel notes, “Marriage is equally likely to constrict women’s and men’s social relationships.” The sharp increase in the number of people living alone is one of the most important demographic changes of our time.
A review of 18 such studies found that people generally become no happier after they get married.
At best, they become a bit more satisfied with their lives around the time of the wedding; then they go back to feeling about as satisfied (or dissatisfied) as they were when they were single. That review of 18 studies also found that both married men and married women become more and more dissatisfied with their relationship over time.
But there was a big exception: In five of the six nations, women who had no children and had been single all their lives had more expansive social networks in which friends were an important part of their everyday support system. found that in several important ways, women do better than men when living alone, whereas men do relatively better when they live with other people—typically, a wife.