Marriage in the United States

among Americans is the highest number of marriages compared to other industrialized countries (10.6 per 1,000 in 1981).High levels of marriages are also observed in the Soviet Union (10,7chelovek in 1978), Egypt (9.5 persons in 1979) and Japan (6.8 persons in 1979).It always has been.More than 90 percent of the members of each age cohort since the early 1800s, eventually married.

However, over the past 40 years, great changes have taken place in this regard.This is reflected mainly in the behavior of young people aged 20 to 24 years.As shown in Figure 1, the number of men and women of this age, never marry, start to decline at the beginning of the Second World War and reached low levels by the end of 1960. While the average age of first-time marriages, was for men 22, 5 years, and for women 20.2 years.These figures have risen steadily over the next 20 years, and by 1984 more than half of Americans aged 20 to 24 years old never married.

Paul Arthur Glick and Norton (1979) give several reasons for this t

rend.During the Vietnam War, many young men marry late, preparing to enter military service, or continue their education.Women usually continue to go to school, and then went to work to support themselves.Moreover, in the late 60's - early 70-ies of the children;born during the baby boom after World War II, came of age and qualify for jobs.Since many people prefer to marry after they are firmly stand on their feet - to get a job and be able to afford to start a family and raise children, -Hard competition in the labor market helped to reduce the level of marriage.

Scheme Number of men and women aged 20 to 24 who have never married


Many marriages in a given year are repeated.In fact, in 1975 the number of remarriages made up almost one-quarter of all marriages.It has significantly increased in comparison with 1960, when the number of remarriages was one-seventh of all marriages.The level of second marriages peaked in the early '70s and fell in the second half of the decade (Glick, Norton, 1979).

reasons for this trend are still unclear.Apparently, the provision of material incentives divorced women gives them the opportunity to do without her husband, helping to reduce levels of re-marriages.However, to provide a program of substantial financial assistance to families in Denver and Seattle only to a small extent confirm this idea.Rising incomes led to reduction of remarriage among women of Mexican descent, but this was not observed among black women and white women.


In American society, factors such as religious belief, race, social class and age, determine the group members that the individual prefers to marry.Preference is for the representatives of obschereligioznoy group confirmed a high level of marriage between them.In the period from 1973 to 1978, 92.6 percent of Protestants were married only with Protestants.Similarly, we received 82 percent of Catholics and 88.2 percent Jews.These figures do not differ much from the data obtained in 1957, when Catholics and Protestants are three times more likely to marry with the bearers of their faith than with the infidels.Jews are 14 times more likely to marry other Jews than with the representatives of an alien faith.

When young people are asked about their willingness to enter into marriage with the infidels, they refer to it favorably, although in fact marriages between members of different religious groups make up only 6.4 percent (or slightly more) of all marriages.

The survey of college students showed that 55 percent of young people were willing to marry with infidels without any hesitation.72 percent of Catholics approve of such marriages, but only 12 percent of devout Jews did not condemn them.

People marry members of their faith because they are usually formed by common values, they belong to the same social class and tend to live in the neighborhood.However, it is clear that the important role played by the social pressure against marriages with infidels.Perhaps the parents are opposed to mixed marriages, fearing that the "alien" element will be included in the family culture.Finally, most of the clergy opposed to marriages with infidels as family conflicts relip / basis-Union lead to a decrease in church attendance, and parents and children.

number of marriages between members of different races is significantly lower number of marriages Mezhuyev speakers of different faiths.For example, only 3 percent of blacks are married to white women, black women and women-have 0.1 percent of white men.In general, the smaller the group, the more its members marry people belonging to another race.For example, a study in one of the Los Angeles area has confirmed that white is much less intermarry than negros and Japanese.The reason for the low level of marriages between people of different races is quite understandable.While laws prohibiting such marriages (mainly in the South in 1967), by decision of the Supreme Court have been abolished, the pressure from family, friends and community members often prevents people from different races to marry.

Finally, people tend to marry those who live nearby, it has the same status.The study of couples in Oslo (Norway) showed that the number of marriages between people living within one mile of each other, twice the number of random marriages.Level of marriages between people of the same social status is about one and a half times higher than the accidental marriage.These two factors - the geographical proximity and common status, likely to interact.People who live nearby, usually bind themselves by marriage partly because they have roughly the same social status.In turn, this is due to the fact that people of equal status usually live in one quarter or next quarter.


Sometimes after the bell has rung wedding, the myth of romantic love can be destroyed.Saying one wife is quoted in the book Lillian Rubin "Worlds of pain" (1976);"The first blow, which struck us was caused by financial problems.We are mired in poverty.Marrying, I dreamed of another life entirely, but it was in a difficult situation, trying to make ends meet, to give her husband a $ 1.5 per hour.;besides, he often did not work and did not receive anything for days and hours. "Young told the husband, "I could not figure out what the hell she finds fault with me, trying to do something about it, because I was also not satisfied with this life ... I could not understand how this was in bondage.I compare yourself with your friends, because they still enjoy life.No they are not goaded, I do not tell them what to do and how to spend money.They worked as desired.I envied the guys who were not yet married, and I wanted to be back in their place. "

course, money problems are only one of the causes of conflict between the spouses.Disputes over child rearing, sex, relationships with relatives, as well as religious and political differences may serve other possible causes of failures in marriage.According to Blood and Wolfe (1960), marriages are unstable, if the relationship of the spouses with the relatives are the main problem, destroying their lives.The most serious conflicts arise between the spouses regarding the education of children.Many differences may be related to role conflict, but they at least contribute to the instability of marriage than other problems.(Rum conflicts arise about the work of his wife, and different

division of household labor. Wives often complain that their husbands get a little, while the husbands of wives accused of mismanagement housekeeping. Apparently, the most dangerous conflicts caused by personal. Habits differences between spouses, which condemns one of the partners, such as drinking or smoking, often lead to clashes they can cause severe stress in marriage

Regardless of the reasons the divorce rate in the US is the highest in the world.. in 1981it reached 5.3 per 1,000 marriages. From 1965 to 1978, this rate was twice as high. However, during 1977 and 1978. he leveled off somewhat and amounted to about 5 per 1,000 marriages.

As shown in the diagram, the increasethe number of divorces happening for a long time and uneven. From the middle of the XIX century. before the second decade of the XX century. only a slight increase in the level of divorces observed.Shortly after the First World (1920) and World War II (1946), this level has increased significantly due to the collapse of marriages during the war.He fell during the Great Depression in the 30s.Undoubtedly, this was due to the lack of jobs and housing, and people just could not afford to get divorced.Finally, as already noted, the most noticeable increase in divorces occurred in the period from 1965 to the end of the 70s.

on the divorce rate is influenced by many factors.The most important among them are economic conditions.When it is easy to find a job, young people are optimistic about their ability to provide for his family.But the sooner people get married, the more likely their divorce.Teenagers divorce twice as often as people who are getting married at the age of 20 years.However, some social scientists believe that the tendency to increase the number of divorces is not due to the instability of marriage, rather, is associated with the ability to easily obtain a divorce.They note that the number of divorced couples has increased more than the number of spouses living apart.Thus, divorce, apparently, has become more common way to settle serious conflicts between the couple, who have always existed.

scheme.the divorce rate in the United States, 1860-1984 gg.

Changing attitudes to divorce and economic advancement of women, probably also contributed to some couples divorce.If a woman has a regular job, it is easier to provide for themselves and their children, than when it has to rely on alimony, child support and other government subsidies.Availability of benefits is probably beneficial for women with low levels of education, and not seeking to make a career, but it also contributes to the spread of divorce.

pressure on family life

As a result, trends in American family found itself in the maelstrom of dramatic social change, and it can hardly be considered a stable social institution.These often conflicting changes have contributed to the creation of several sources of tension in modern society.

families where both spouses work

One of the most dramatic changes in recent years has been to increase the number of women involved in labor activities.Employment of both parents has a more profound effect on the family, where there are small children than in those families where the children grew up (or who do not have children).Nevertheless, the number of families with infants or preschool children where both parents work, probably will increase.Women born during the baby boom, already have their own children.Many plan to continue working after their birth.According to statistics, almost half of them will return to work when their youngest child turns 6 years old.

In families where both spouses are working, it may be a stressful situation that Ron and Robert Rapoport called congestion dilemma

example, returning from work, the husband or the wife finds in the house the following picture: circle of confusion, the children fight, empty fridge.Perhaps this creates tension in the family.Both husband and wife may also face the problem, called the dilemma of identity - this is an attempt to deal directly with many responsibilities.The woman, who grew up with his mother or other close relatives, housewives, probably a man is able to attach to the homework, but it is not always possible to guess the extent to which her husband can cope with this role.In turn, the husband can praise his wife for what she brings home a salary, but, most of all, he is not satisfied, if it gets more than he did.

Although families where both spouses work, are becoming more widespread, the division of labor by gender principle firmly rooted in American family life.Recently, Blood and Wolfe found that this division is not so strictly observed if the level of education of his wife is higher than that of her husband.How shared family responsibilities between husband and wife, if the wife works?A sample survey of households conducted by Walker and Woodrow in Syracuse (New York), has shown: the longer the wife works outside the home for pay, the lower the household chores she performs, but it increases the overall congestion.However, husbands whose wives work outside the home, usually to help them on the farm no longer than husbands unemployed wives, husbands, and the total workload (home and work) is actually getting smaller, the longer working wife.

scheme work for wages and household work done by husbands and wives

Other studies have confirmed the time the budget is usually the survey results in Syracuse.They prove loyalty to the hypothesis that men do not want to participate equally with their wives in raising children, cleaning the house and perform other household tasks, even if their wives work.However, in one study was found a curious feature detects when the distribution of household chores.Lake found that when family members are invited to report to resolve the problem of the distribution of household chores, they found a common language and is usually cast off traditional gender roles.But when they had to solve the same problems in the presence of strangers, they performed traditional roles.Lake concludes that the equal sharing of responsibilities within the family easier, when it does not strangers are present.This is due to the fact that in the presence of strangers, men and women try to conform to the traditional "models."

interaction between parents and children

Sociologists believe that conflicts between parents and children are inevitable in a society in which there is a rapid change.There are differences between young people and their parents on a range of contentious issues in our society, starting with when to go to bed, and ending with the choice of a life partner.This "generation gap" was particularly profound during the 60s when college students are often strongly opposed the values ​​of thirty generations of people who wanted to a successful career and a quiet life in the suburbs.

But in spite of the inevitability of conflict between the generations to popular belief most spectacular discovery of several studies was to identify a high level of agreement between children and their parents.For example, one study found that college students usually agree with their fathers on contentious issues such as sexual norms, protection of the environment, the reasons for the unrest on campuses, with the war and segregation.Boys usually more manifest disagreement with their fathers than girls.College students who were in school for longer, are more inclined to disagree with their fathers.

Differences between fathers are more likely to - the working class representatives and their offspring who become college students.Fathers who have advanced degrees or different conservative views usually do not share the point of view of their children's policy and morality.However, in general there is mutual consent is much more common than differences.To better understand these amazing results, Bowerman and Bar talked to 18664 youths.They found that young people who have grown up in families where the parents have the same effect, usually internalize the values, concepts and opinions of their parents.This is not observed in families where the authority vested in only one of the parents, especially the mother.

effects of divorce

increase in the number of divorces doubled compared to 1956 means that many married couples and their children are going through deep trouble in the family, usually accompanying a members often live in the same house.