Unformatted text preview: Soc 120: Marriage and the Family
Lecture 19: Divorce I Prof. Elwert not unDl 20th century did people get to meet their grandparents A ND be grandparents--> important innovaDon not a cultural Review President Johnson focused on rural poor or elderly Elderly & grandparenting Demographic trendsage group most likely to be poor--> elderly , now changing Standard of living benefits increased so S S insurance was invented--> Care arrangements majority of 65+ live alone, even the majority of the Role of daughters 1960s also got medicare--> eligibile for health insurance starDng age 65 although does not pay for nursing home care
needed to run down all savings to get nursing home care (medicaid) total transfers: older generaDons do M ORE for the younger generaDons (old-->young= direct financial aid or babysi\ng) (young-->old= indirectly by paying to S S and medicare change: due to mortality and Social Security birth rates decreased poverty for the poor old mothers get more support than old fathers Mutual support Grandparenting
fairly rare among total populaDon but common among blacks disabled elderly taken care of by female family Multigeneration & skipped-generation households
on the rise 1 Preview Elderly continued Widowhood effect Divorce I History, trends Explanations Macro Micro (next time) almost all elderly involved in medicare
"broken heart theory"= so upset about the death of the spouse, other spouse dies BUT we believe the services supplied by spouse that dies are lost so they suffer the changes men--> loss of caregiver women--> income, husband enDtlement to S S & medicare both--> someone who genuinely cares about you black women more likely to work than white women & black men more likely to work in home--> lesser division of labor b/c marriages don't last as long due to death or divorce (spouses less dependent on their spouses afer death)
40% unmarried Widowhood Effect
married people live longer than umarried people Loss of spouse increases mortality by about 15-20% in old age for whites Central evidence for health benefits of marriage Found for bereaved men and women Loss of primary care giver (men) Loss of income (women) women get widowhood S S Long lasting (no apparent substitute) precisely zero if spouse dies, risk of other spouse dying increases 1/5 different living arrangements--> at any income or age group blacks are more likely to live with kin other than spouse or children No apparent widowhood effect for blacks Likely because elderly AfAm are much more likely thanand this presence of a family member who elderly blacks live whites to live with other kin (rater than alone) cares about them will provide services with other relaDves Greater independence of AfAm husbands and wives normally given by husband or wife compared to only Blacks appear to benefit from marriage longer than whites 20% of single elderly whites 2 y-axis= mortality Whites: Widowhood Effect Mortality drops at marriage, spikes at death of spouse, stays elevated marriage does same things for blacks and whites No Widowhood Effect: No benefit from marriage, and no harm from widowhood
mortality does not respond at all to marriage rates or widowhood Blacks: No Widowhood Effect: Benefit from marriage, but no harm (no mortality increase) from widowhood.
blacks carry benefits from marriage into widowhood stable, no spikes like for whites (Stylized graph from Elwert and Christakis 2006) Divorce: Periods
1. Restricted divorce
7 sacraments reduced to 3--> matrimony did not make the cut, moving marriage into the secular realm Reformation - mid 19th ReformaDon early 16th century Reformation removes matrimony from list of sacraments Moves divorce into secular realm Legal but rare and difficult Canon law, ecclesiastic courts continue to provide framework England: act of Parliament commoners could not peDDon Parliament--> 1 divorce granted per year America: civil law since Revolution Cultural significance: great divorce from England Fault principle (adversarial) had to come up with proof, Folk practices, informal divorce confession that allowed to legal did not maher what law thought, but what community thought--> people did not have much property to begin with
divorce of their marriage--> relied on adultery and deserDon (which gave power to men) separaDon of church and state--> moved divorce into the civil realm 3 Periods
2. Divorce Tolerance increasingly tolerated Mid 19th - 1960s Fault principle remains in pracDce--> only way to get divorced is to find somebody to blame
cruelty is added and later so does irreconcilable differences Adultery, desertion (later others) Gender neutral in principle, but gendered in practice Expanding fault criteria Lack of love, abuse women have more stake in loss of marriage than men Rise of companionate marriage marriage should look like
sex, friendships, liking each other became more important new standards of what a good Periods
not what can i do for the 3. Unrestricted Divorce
if law is designed for people to break it (making up stories to get fault-divorce) they should change it so the spouses tell the truth to the judge others but what does this marriage do for my own personal happiness Individualized model of marriage No-fault divorce 1970 (CA) Gradual passage in all states by late 1980s Sharp increase in divorce rates Decreasing stigma shame and remorse about divorce is lost today and now it is more piDed Serial monogamy (sequential polygamy)
Americans have one sexual marital partner at a Dme, but have the opDon of having mulDple partners across Dme 4 Trends 1860: 2/1000 mid 60s-1980 Divorce revolution lower part of graph--> annual divorce rate Divorce rate: #divorces/1000 married per year since late 70s, first Dme on our history, more marriages ended in divorce than in death (sDll case today) 1980: 23/1000 (peak) 2002: 18/1000 Notice: since late 70s, more marriages each year end in divorce than death. 2 ways marriage can end, death OR divorce ******read in book ******* Group Differences Rising among less educated Falling among college grads Higher among Blacks, Hispanics Lower among Asian Americans No big difference Catholic/Protestant surprising 5 What Factors Influence Divorce Rates? Researchers have no comprehensive explanation for rise and fall of divorce rates, none coherently explains group differences (Jencks & Ellwood) Lots of a priori plausible stories--not all supported by data Often apply only to limited periods Big problems of causation vs selection (more on this later) No theory explains everything Macro vs micro explanations Macro: changes in societal level factors Micro: changes in individual level factors (next lecture) Macro Explanations I No-fault divorce legislation Easier access accounts for 17% of increase 1968-1988, divorce rate would be 6 percentage points lower in 1988 in the absence of no-fault divorce (Friedberg 1998) Not a dramatic, but a measurable and lasting effect
threshold of acceptable hardship was lower--> people want to be happy in their marriages and are not willing to take less saDsfacDon passing the law increased rates Cultural changes Individualized marriage regime Ubiquity of divorce normalizes experience rise in divorce rates makes divorce normal Decreasing stigma not penalized by society What s cause, what s effect?
maybe ^ in divorce rate caused A LL these but maybe A LL these caused ^ in divorce rate 6 Macro Explanations II Women s employment womens LFP Fact: Female LFP correlates quite strongly with risk of divorce
income effect: if women works in LFP then the house is making more money together--> more stable and less stressful marraiges Question: Why? - Competing theories Opportunity effect (possibility of leaving) possibility of leaving On the other hand: Income effect (decreasing economic strain should stabilize marriage) two effects C ANCEL each other out Availability of women in work force rise of women in L FP, desegregated workforce, giving married men direct access to ^ unmarried women (opportunity effect for men) Problem of reverse causality Some women join LF because they anticipate a divorce Overall: Theories about Fem LFP not well supported by data if a women has independent earnings and is unhappy, has Men s employment Decrease in young man s/low educ wages since 1970s causes marital strain.
economic problems in marriages for men explain rise in ^ of divorce 7 ...
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- widowhood effect