Study shows divorces rates rise when people have more potential mates to choose from

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A pair of researchers at Stockholm University has found that people who have a lot of co-workers of the opposite gender might have a higher risk of divorce. In their paper published in the journal Biology Letters, Caroline Uggla and Gunnar Andersson describe their study of heterosexual men and women living in Denmark over a 20-year period, and what they found.

There are, of course, a lot of factors that contribute to the success of a marriage. In this new effort, the researchers suggest one might be the degree of availability of other options. They carried out a study to learn more about factors that might contribute to the success or failure of marriages. It involved gaining access to and analyzing data on people living in Denmark over the years 1981 to 2002. They narrowed their focus to married heterosexual males and females who held jobs during that time span. They compared divorce rates between people in different occupations.

The researchers found a trend—people who worked with a high ratio of co-workers of the opposite gender had higher divorce rates than those who did not. They noted the increase was most pronounced with men, and in particular, men with more education. Interestingly, for women with more education, there was no increase. The research did not uncover reasons for these trends, but the researchers offer some possibilities—such as men being more attracted to people with similar education and job interests. They note also that simply being around more women likely gave them more opportunities to meet a more suitable mate.

The researchers also found that age at marriage appeared to play a role in the likelihood of divorce as well—those getting married younger were more likely to divorce than those waiting till after age 40. Also, living in the city had an apparent impact—those who lived outside of Copenhagen were less likely to get divorced than those who lived in the city. Also, more in general tended to result in lower rates.

Explore further

Wives with more education than their husbands no longer at increased risk of divorce

More information: Caroline Uggla et al. Higher divorce risk when mates are plentiful? Evidence from Denmark, Biology Letters (2018). DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2018.0475
Journal information: Biology Letters

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Citation: Study shows divorces rates rise when people have more potential mates to choose from (2018, September 26) retrieved 26 June 2019 from
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User comments

Sep 26, 2018
Another "No shit Sherlock" report

Sep 27, 2018
Uhh, dirk old boy. Uhhm, did you really wish to share your bitter experiences at being rejected? With all of us coots and cranks?

Cause I'm rather certain that a least a majority of the commentators to this site. Including me! Could collectively write an encyclopedia on the subject.

Oct 02, 2018
Cause I'm rather certain that a least a majority of the commentators to this site. Including me! Could collectively write an encyclopedia on the subject
Yeah even the good people on this site reject your empty, flowery, prose poetry bullshit.

Re the article, of course returning women to the workforce would weaken the family and reduce the birthrate. That's the purpose if it.

The world is now full, courtesy of the male penchant for quantity. The emphasis has been shifted from quantity to quality. And quality is the prerogative of the female, who seeks to choose the best possible mate for each and every child she wishes to bear.

So remove their modest attire, let them wander about freely to tempt and entice, and let the males compete for repro rights.

Pandora is once again out of the box.

This is the real meaning of 'right to choose'; not only of which children to keep and raise, but of which man might get to father the next one.

Oct 02, 2018
The woman is now on top.

This is the reason for everything that has led up to the 'me too' movement. A good family man with an entire career of exemplary service can nevertheless be destroyed with one allegation of microaggression during adolescence.

And elsewhere in the world, and throughout our entire history of empire-building and reproductive aggression, a woman could be pilloried and executed for a similar offence.

The wages of domestication. A time to sow and a time to reap, a time to embrace and a time to refrain. Everything is beautiful in it's own Time.

This is how to conquer a world.

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