The story of mother-in-law, father-in-law and son-in-law from the perspective of a new study in the US

A recent study published in the journal Evolutionary Psychological Science (Evolutionary Psychological Science) explored the cooperative and conflicting aspects of the inner and outer relationships of two married people. In this study, Jessica D. Ayers (lead author) and colleagues looked at the cooperation and conflict between insiders and outsiders with a total of 308 people recruited from online platforms. Participants answered demographic questions (e.g., age, gender, education, marital status) and provided the names/abbreviation of their paternal and genetic relatives . Participants answered a variety of questions about these relationships, such as the length of the relationship, the overall level of cooperation and conflict across different domains (e.g. resources, relationships). social system, safety). The researchers derived a “conflict ratio in interactions” to assess whether the relationships were conflict or cooperation.

The results showed that both men and women reported conflicts with their mother-in-law or mother-in-law more than their own mothers, and mothers reported conflicts with their daughters-in-law more than their daughters. In addition, it is surprising that fathers also have more conflicts with daughters than daughters-in-law. It is possible that these conflicts revolve around the choice of a daughter’s mate and the addition of a new member to the father’s life. If a father believes that his son-in-law will have a positive influence on his life, this conflict will lessen over time.

Areas where participants had the most conflict included material resources and caregiving, both of which are critical to long-term childbearing success. Because of the relatively shorter calving intervals compared to other primates, women face the challenge of caring for multiple offspring at once and benefit from having positive endosymbiotic relationships. . Women in the early days of mankind may have relied on biological relatives to help care for their children; however, this would not be possible if these people were too far apart geographically. This requires the support of inner relationships in taking care of children. And because these people are genetically related to their offspring, they provide the same care as the mother’s genetic relatives.

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A limitation of this study is that the analysis only included participants who had a relationship with the genetic mother and still living mother-in-law. This would exclude participants who were involved in intensely conflicting relationships that ended, so the results skew more toward cooperation. Another limitation is that the sample size is too small, so the results should be interpreted with caution and hopefully more future studies can continue with these results with larger sample sizes.

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