(NEW YORK) — All it took researchers was two billion cellphone calls and a half-a-billion text messages to figure out what mom could have told them already: as she gets older, she tends to bond more with an adult daughter than with her spouse in phone conversations.
The study in the journal Scientific Reports reveals that while a man’s wife is usually his closest confidante throughout the duration of their marriage, wives tends to switch allegiances to daughters as they get older.
Researchers from the U.S., England and Finland conducted the study by poring over the patterns of 1.95 billion calls and 489 million text messages for seven months while taking into account the ages of men and women surveyed.
What they learned was that when men and women are young, they focus their attention on the opposite sex. The wireless phone records also suggested that women seem to get interested in men at an earlier age, about 18, and that the level of interest lasts 14 years, which is double the length of men.
Then starting in their 40s, women start to drift from men as they seek out more intimate relationships with women about 25 years younger, presumably their daughters. That’s when men get relegated to “second-best friend” on the phone for the next 15 years or so.
On the other hand, males tend to stick with their wives for the duration as their primary phone buddies.
So what explains this phenomenon? The best researchers can figure out is that it has something to do with a women’s natural tendency to ensure the survival of her genes, although how calls and texts accomplish this feat will have to be the topic of another study.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio