Men who pay child support may be less likely to have other children but could be more likely to remarry, according to a study by Kermyt Anderson published recently in Evolution and Human Behavior. Anderson based his evaluation on the data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, a database regarding statistics of American households.
Anderson found from the data that men who pay child support have a lower probability of having other children, but they are also more likely to remarry.
For men who have children from a previous relationship, paying child support may show a sense of responsibility that is appealing to future partners.
“Child support payment is an honest signal of men’s willingness to commit to parental investment,” Anderson explained. “By continuing to pay child support, men signal to prospective mates that they are good investors.”
According to Robert Hughes, a professor of human development at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, in a recent column for the Huffington Post, Anderson’s findings run contrary to commonly held evolutionary hypotheses that suggest that investing in one’s previous children has a negative impact on remarriage.