SOCI
Topic 3a Marriage Meanings Importance and Implications

Topic 3a Marriage Meanings Importance and Implications -...

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1 1 Sociology 169 Topic 3: Marriage: Meanings, Importance, and Implications Readings: Waite. 1995. “Does Marriage Matter?”: Furstenberg. 1996. “The Future of Marriage.”; Ooms. 2002. “Marriage and Government, Strange Bedfellows.” Topic 3a: Marriage: Meanings, Importance, and Implications Are there benefits to marriage? Marriage and well-being Reasons for the purported benefits of marriage Is marriage a cause or an effect? Implications Should government be involved in promoting marriage? 2 Marriage and Well-Being: Health Health-- Multiple dimensions (e.g., physical, emotional, psychological) Less drinking for men and women, but women have low levels regardless of marital status Risk taking—divorced men and women have more Mortality—Both men and women have lower mortality rates 3 Marriage and Well-Being: Health Why is health better among married people? For men marriage provides someone to monitor health and health related behaviors and encourages self-regulation Social support of spouse Meaning in life- obligation to others Mortality—increases healthy behaviors and economic resources to purchase health care etc. (especially important to women) Network of support for men
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2 4 Marriage and Well-Being: Earnings and Wealth Earnings and Wealth Earnings 10-40% premium seen for married men (both White and Black) White married women pay a penalty, Black married women have a premium . Children are especially detrimental to white women (through reduction in hours worked) Wealth– more per capita assets 5 Marriage and Earnings 6 Marriage and Well-Being: Earnings and Wealth Why do married men and women have an advantage? Economies of scale Specialization Pooling income Marriage makes men more productive to meet obligations to family members Married men are healthier Expectations of married life lead one to invest for children’s well-being, a house etc.
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3 7 Marriage and Well-Being: Happiness Happiness Married people report themselves to be happier on many dimensions However, recently separated people say they are happier than they were when they were with their spouses (See Furstenberg) 8 Marriage and Happiness Source: General Social Survey 40.2 24.5 19.6 15.9 22.3 52 56.3 62.3 56.3 63.1 7.7 19.2 18.1 27.8 14.6 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Married Widowed Divorced Separated Never Married Very Happy Pretty Happy Not Too Happy 9 Marriage and Well-Being: Happiness Reasons for greater levels of happiness among married people.
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  • Spring '08
  • Casper
  • married people, married men, Social institution of marriage

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