HOOKING UP, SHAKING UP, SPLITTING UP 3
Hookingup, shacking up, Splitting Up
Thereare changes that have occurred in the age at first marriage overtime. Research shows that since 1974, age at first marriage has goneup by four years. This increase is represented by women who aremarrying young men. This rate grew from 12% in 19974 to over 20% inthe year 1995. Most couples choose to follow the traditional methodof marriage by registering the union. Today, young people areinvolved in first marriages at a very young age. In addition, therehas been a change in the timing of first marriage. Couples change theinstitutions by shifting from church to other locations.
Oneof the elements observed at first marriage was the pattern for men ascompared to women. In general, men marry younger men. However, firstmarriages required men to be younger. The proportion increasedbetween the years 1974 and 1995. For instance, in 1974, less that 10% of first marriages involved men marrying older women while, in1995, more than 50% of men married younger women.
Accordingto the chart for percent of marriages ending in divorce, there arevarious characteristics that put a couple at a higher risk ofdivorce. Income is one of the factors with high risks of divorce.Research shows that individuals with an annual income of less than $25,000 have a higher chance of divorce. It is advisable to have anaverage income to avoid stress that can lead to separation. Young agealso lead to a higher risk of divorce. Teens have a greater chance ofdivorce especially in the first years of their marriage. This isbecause they are not mature enough to make marriage decisions as wellas cope with the challenges experienced in marriage life.
Thechart also shows factors that put a couple at a lesser risk ofdivorce. The first factor is religious affiliations. Studies provethat a couple that associates with a specific religious group hasless chance of divorce than couples who do not associate in anyreligious group. Participating in the same religious group has fewerchances. The second factor is on the region. The chart shows that theregion has less chance of separation. In most cases, the place wherecouple originates has a lower risk of divorce as compared to familyincome.