Sunday, 28 October 2012

The Factors of Divorce, what science tells us

Relationships in my opinion these days is getting harder to maintain considering that the divorce rate in first marriages probably peaked at about 40 percent for first marriages around 1980 and has been declining since to about 30 percent in the early 2000s. This is a dramatic difference. Rather than viewing marriage as a 50-50 shot in the dark it can be viewed as having a 70 percent likelihood of succeeding. But even to use that kind of generalization, i.e., one simple statistic for all marriages, grossly distorts what is actually going on.
The key is that the research shows that starting in the 1980s education, specifically a college degree for women, began to create a substantial divergence in marital outcomes, with the divorce rate for college-educated women dropping to about 20 percent, half the rate for non-college educated women. Even this is more complex, since the non-college educated women marry younger and are poorer than their college grad peers. These two factors, age at marriage and income level, have strong relationships to divorce rates; the older the partners and the higher the income, the more likely the couple stays married. Obviously, getting a college degree is reflected in both these factors. Thus, we reach an even more dramatic conclusion: That for college educated women who marry after the age of 25 and have established an independent source of income, the divorce rate is only 20 percent!.
In addition, the general data suggests that cohabiting couples break up at twice the rate of married couples. Of course, this kind of simple statistic hides many complex factors with regard to who actually constitutes the population of cohabiting couples and the likelihood that many choose to live together with no real intention of permanence. However, many couples may be choosing cohabition over marriage because they actually believe that the institution of marriage is unhealthy and too risky, a conclusion that my review of divorce rates strongly disputes.
When partners in a marriage disregard the sanctity of their relationship, the inevitable depletion and withering of the marriage system begins. Joy turns into boredom, passion slides into ambivalence or perfunctory sex, and respect declines toward disregard. Nature also might have a stake in the reasons of divorce.
Researchers led by Justin Garcia, an investigator and SUNY Doctoral Diversity Fellow at the State University of New York in Binghamton, looked at possible biological mechanisms behind the compulsion to be unfaithful to one’s partner or to be sexually promiscuous. They interviewed 181 young adults, asked them about their sexual behavior and relationships, and took samples of their DNA. Seventy-seven percent of the group reported a history of sexual intercourse.
Garcia and his team focused specifically on the DRD4 gene, which is associated with other behaviors linked with reward and feeling good. People with a genetic variation of DRD4 called 7R+ were more likely to commit infidelity or be promiscuous; 50% of people with 7R+ reported being unfaithful, compared with 22% of people who did not have this genetic variation. Gender did not play a role in genetic variation; 23% of women and 26% of men in the group were found to have the 7R+ genetic variation. The results are published in the Public Library of Science's PLoS ONE journal.
“What we found was that individuals with a certain variant of the DRD4 gene were more likely to have a history of uncommitted sex, including one-night stands and acts of infidelity,” Garcia says in a news release. “The motivation seems to stem from a system of pleasure and reward, which is where the release of dopamine comes in. In cases of uncommitted sex, the risks are high, the rewards substantial, and the motivation variable all elements that ensure a dopamine ‘rush.’”
Garcia notes that his findings do not indicate a cause-and-effect association between genetics and sexual behavior, but the study does provide evidence that biology affects human behavior and the decisions people make in their personal lives.
For years, researchers have wondered why females would cheat on their mates, given that there appears to be no direct benefit, but it could be that they retain the genes in order to pass them down to their sons, or just harbor them because the trait is positively selected for in males. DNA associated with large body size and risk-taking may persist in genomes for similar reasons.
A new study by UCLA researchers who look at subtle changes in behavior during ovulation. At their most fertile period, these women are less likely to feel close to their mates and more likely to find fault with them than women mated to more sexually desirable men, the research shows. "A woman evaluates her relationship differently at different times in her cycle, and her evaluation seems to be colored by how sexually attractive she perceives her partner to be," said Martie Haselton, a professor of psychology and communication studies at UCLA and senior author of the study.
Nevertheless, the negative feelings appear fleeting, and they don't seem to affect a woman's long-term commitment to her romantic relationship, the study found. "Even when these women are feeling less positive about their relationship, they don't want to end it," said Christina Larson, the study's lead author and a doctoral candidate in social psychology at UCLA.
There are telling changes that take place in women's behavior during ovulation. Possibly to increase the odds of attracting suitable mating partners, these behaviors include a tendency to dress up and to speak in a higher-pitched, more feminine voice and — in a potential inbreeding-avoidance mechanism — to refrain from contact with male kin. In addition, the lab has found that women whose mates are less sexy and masculine tend to be more attracted to other men during the few fertile days leading up to ovulation.
A lot of research has shown that women's preferences change over the course of the cycle, but this is the first time that these changes have been shown to have implications for relationship functioning.
By pinpointing the ovulation cycles of 41 undergraduate women involved in long-term heterosexual relationships. They asked the women to rate the sexual attractiveness of their mates by answering such questions as "How desirable do you think women find your partner as a short-term mate or casual sex partner, compared to most men.
They also asked the women a series of questions designed to measure their partner's stability or suitability as a long-term mate, including questions about how his present and future financial status compares with that of most men. Then at two different points in her monthly cycle — at high fertility (just before ovulation) and at low fertility — each woman was asked about the quality of her romantic relationship. The researchers, who used a questionnaire designed exclusively for the study, found no significant change across the cycle in how the women perceived their level of commitment to the relationship or, at least initially, in their satisfaction with it.
But an exercise that required the women to rate how close they felt to their men yielded dramatic results. As women mated to less sexually attractive men moved from their least fertile to most fertile period, their closeness scores dropped one point on a seven-point scale. Women mated to the most sexually attractive men, meanwhile, experienced the opposite effect. As these women moved from their least to most fertile period, their closeness scores rose by a point.
Women with the really good, stable guy felt more distant at high-fertility periods than low-fertility periods," Haselton said. "That isn't the case with women who were mated to particularly sexually attractive men. The closeness of their relationships got a boost just prior to ovulation.
The researchers found that women mated to the less sexually attractive men were significantly more likely to find fault with their partners and, again, feel less close to their partners during the high-fertility period than the low-fertility period. Women who rated their mates as more sexually attractive, meanwhile, did not exhibit these changes and instead reported being more satisfied with their relationship at high fertility than at low fertility.
It is possible that we evolved to feel drawn to these visible markers because, at least in the past, they proved to be indicators of good genes," she said. "Ancestral women who were attracted to these features could have produced offspring who were more successful in attracting mates and producing progeny.
The problem is that there is a limited number of potential mates who are high in both. So many women are forced to make trade-offs.
The urge for a stable long-term partner along with the increased desire for a more sexually attractive mate during periods of high fertility the "dual mating hypothesis."
Haselton and Larson next plan to look at whether fault-finding and the feelings of distance and dissatisfaction have any long-term destabilizing effects on the relationships of women with less sexually attractive men.
looking at the factors why people get divorce, it seems there are natural causes like infidelity genes and possibly a woman's menstrual cycle need to be included. Finding someone and saying with them may be hormonally programmed with oxytocine and vasopressin, which is present during sex and stays on long after child birth. The best thing to do is identify the factors of divorce and scientific research and navigate through the bad times. Considering divorce rates for women below the age of 25 are fairly high at around 30%. The negative aspects of natures programming seems to be more prominent. At this point its hard to quantify the real factors of separation as each relationship is different. The only alternative is to not try at all, but considering most married couples are on average happier then singletons. A new review by the University of Arizona of more than 30 published studies found divorced adults have a significantly higher risk of early death compared with married adults. The risk of dying early was 23 percent greater among divorced adults than married couples tracked by researchers for an average of 11 years. Researchers found the risks associated with divorce are similar to other well-established public-health risks, such as smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day, getting limited exercise, being overweight and drinking heavily, said the study’s lead author, UA psychology professor David Sbarra.
 In the end, tts better to try and fail then never try at all...

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