Thursday, May 21, 2009

What kind of a woman should you marry? To continue the debate on marriage, let's look at the characteristics of married women who are least likely to get divorced. I focused on women ages 30 to 39 over the years 2000 to 2008. Using logistic regression analysis, I found that the following measures significantly reduce the risk of divorce:


Predictors (logistic regression coefficients)

White -.877
Years of education -.111
Frequency of church attendance -.112
Conservatism -.135

N = 799

All of these predictors are inversely related to divorce at the .05 alpha level. Speaking to the men, O my brothers, if you want to miminize the probability of a breakup, marry a woman who is white, educated, religious, and politically conservative. Mmmm, my kinda woman.

9 comments:

  1. Except that barring the White and educated part, those kind of women are rarer than Hen's teeth.

    Sadly, love and marriage has been redefined particularly among women below 45 years to mean well, "open" marriage where the woman (particularly) and the man (sometimes, if he's Alpha enough like John Edwards) cheat around and stay in a marriage of convenience.

    Call it the Edwards-Clinton paradigm. That's modern married life such as it is, for most younger professional urban women. Increasingly, most women are not interested in even THAT, preferring single motherhood and as many men as they can juggle.

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  2. A conservative? Ugh, I'd rather get divorced. No offense. ;-)

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  3. Nothing makes a woman wet like whispering to her, "You're statistically unlikely to divorce me based on your demographic background."

    These are all traits I generally seek out anyway. Political orientation isn't too big a deal; as soon as she is overcome with my masculine charm she will hold the correct views, oh yes.

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  4. Anonymous9:58 PM

    "A conservative? Ugh, I'd rather get divorced."

    Liberal women tend to turn conservative after marriage. Make sure you hook up with an Adrea Dworkin type.

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  5. Anonymous10:22 PM

    Ron,

    Does the GSS have a feature that will collapse several data sets into one meta-set? Within the POLVIEWS variable, I would like to collapse the three "liberal" categories into one meta-set, and the three "conservative" categories into an other meta-set.

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  6. Make sure you hook up with an Adrea Dworkin type.Uh, no. That is NOT my kind of liberal. No anti-porn crusaders please. What's the point of being a liberal if you're also a prude? ;-)

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  7. Funny, that's exactly the advice my friend took. Didn't work. The real causal factor is "parents still together". (Hers weren't.) Marriage - like race and religion - is inherited. And "a good family" is not an anachronistic thing to look for in a spouse.

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  8. Anonymous12:37 PM

    "And "a good family" is not an anachronistic thing to look for in a spouse."

    Actually, these days, since the norms in favor of family preservation have weakened, an intact family should be a particularly strong indicator suitability. Staying with your spouse is now more likely to be an expression of who you are, rather than who you should be.

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  9. Anon: "Does the GSS have a feature that will collapse several data sets into one meta-set? Within the POLVIEWS variable, I would like to collapse the three "liberal" categories into one meta-set, and the three "conservative" categories into an other meta-set."

    What you need to do is recode the variable into a new variable. Click on "recode variable" and come up with a name for the new variables. Give all the liberal categories the same score ("1" would be good) then give all the conservative categories the same score ("0" would be good).

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