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USA News

US study suggests people of faith who don't cohabit are less likely to divorce

by Kelly Valencia

A new report by the Institute of Family Studies has suggested religious marriages are less likely to end in divorce because faith tends to motivate less cohabitation before marriage.

But the ‘Religious Marriage Paradox’ study, which surveyed more than 53,000 women ages 15 to 49, has also revealed that the age in which women get married has an impact on the probabilities of a divorce.

For those with a non-religious background, the divorce rate is around 5 per cent while for those with a religious upbringing the rate was slightly less, 4.5 per cent.

“Without controls for age at marriage or an indicator for premarital cohabitation, women with a religious upbringing do have slightly lower likelihoods of divorce,” the study reads.

Researchers also found that those women who marry without having cohabited tend to have lower divorce rates than those with the same religious background and age but had cohabited before marriage.

For women with Evangelical Protestant or Non-Christian Religious upbringings, the rate of entrance into marriage is over 2 per cent. By age 35, about 28 per cent of women with a non-religious upbringing had entered a direct marriage without cohabiting, compared to approximately 43 per cent of women with a religious upbringing, according to the study.

It continued: “Overall, then, religion greatly influences the nature and age of relationship formation. Young women raised in a religious home cohabit less, but they marry more, and especially earlier.”

Over the last 40 years, women with non-religious upbringings got married around age 25 in comparison to religious women who generally wed around age 24. This drops 23 year-sold when referring to women with Evangelical Protestant upbringings.

The report also suggested religion contributes to stability in the marriage as “it might give people institutional or community support, or it might positively alter the quality of romantic pairings,” and it might also “alter the dynamics between partners in important ways.”

You can read the study here.

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