Marriages, Unions and Divorces

May 4th, 2013 at 9:44 am by David Farrar

Interesting data from Stats NZ.

  • 20,521 marriages in 2012. The number of marriages has been fairly constant for the last 20 years
  • The marriage rate per 1,000 non-married adults has fallen from 32 in 1977 to 11.8 in 2012.
  • The median age of bridegrooms was 32.3 and brides 30.2
  • In 1983 it was 26.5 and 23.9 respectively
  • The divorce rate is 10.1 per 1,000 marriages. This has fallen in recent years from a high of 17.1 in 1982
  • The median duration of a marriage that divorces is 13.7 years and the median age for divorcing is 45.7 for men and 43.2 for women
  • There have been 2,981 civil unions since 2005. 592 were heterosexual couples, 1,033 were gay couples and 1,356 were lesbian couples

Mixed race marriages

October 18th, 2009 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

AFP reports:

AN interracial couple in Louisiana have been denied a marriage license by an official who considers their union morally wrong, according to local media.

“I’m not a racist,” Keith Bardwell, a justice of the peace in rural Tangipahoa Parish, told the Hammond Star.

“I do ceremonies for black couples right here in my house. My main concern is for the children.”

Mr Bardwell told the paper that he believes interracial marriages do not last and that the children of such unions are not accepted by either the black or white community.

Now of course Bardwell is bonkers to think it is his job to decide whether or not a couple should be able to get married, based on his beliefs. He does the classic groupist error of applying a generalisation to everyone (and of thinking it is his decision anyway).

It did get me interested in what is the prevalance of “mixed race” marriages and whether or not their divorce rates are higher than “same race” marriages.

In NZ we have traditionally had a high rate of mixed race marriages, as all modern Maori New Zealanders have at least one European ancestor. I do wonder if we have current stats on this – presumably the census data could reveal this.

In the US, only 2.8% of black women and 6.6% of black men had a white spouse. While 41% of Asian women have a white husband and 36% of Asian men have a white wife. So a big difference in prevalence depending on the races involved.

In terms of divorce rates Wikipedia says:

Marital stability studies published on the Education Resources Information Center found that White female-Black male unions are more prone to result in a divorce than White-White marriages are, while Black female-White male marriages show similar or lower risks of divorce than White-White marriages.

So Bardwell is wrong with his generalisation also.

As I said, I would be interested to see what the prevalence of mixed race/culture marriages are in NZ, and if there are differences in the divorce rates. Anyone know of any studies already done?

Poll on Morality

September 14th, 2009 at 7:53 pm by David Farrar

I’ve just blogged at curiablog, on a morality poll by UMR. Respondents were asked how morally acceptable (or unacceptable certain activities were. Below is the morally acceptable score for each activity and the net acceptable score (acceptable less unacceptable)

From most to least acceptable, they were:

  1. Divorce 81%, +68%
  2. Sex outside marriage 77%, +59%
  3. Having baby outside marriage 71%, +48%
  4. Stem cell research 63%, +38%
  5. Homosexual relations 61%, +29%
  6. Euthanasia 55%, +18%
  7. Abortion 55%, +21%
  8. Gambling 52%, +10%
  9. Animal medical testing 52%, +12%
  10. Wearing or buying fur 48%, +4%
  11. Death Penalty 43%, -7%
  12. Animal Cloning 27%, -40%
  13. Suicide 20%, -48%
  14. Married people having affairs 13%, -70%
  15. Polygamy 11%, -74%
  16. Human cloning 7%, -81%

Now this was asking about moral acceptability, not legality. So while only 55% think abortion is morally acceptable, that doesn’t mean only 55% think it should be legal.

Now what would my answers have been. None of the first ten I would regard as morally unacceptable. I do regard the death penalty as unacceptable – not keen on states being able to kill it citizens. Tend to regard suicide as morally unacceptable in most circumstances but not all (ie terminally ill). While generally I think it is not a good idea for married people to have affairs (and if married I would not), I’m wouldn’t label it as morally unacceptable as it is between those two people. I don’t think polygamy should be legal but nor do I regard it as morally unacceptable. And finally I don’t believe human cloning is automatically morally unacceptable.  I favour very very tight restrictions on it, but think there are potential benefits.

So bottom line is there is very little I believe is always morally unacceptable. Mainly just the death penalty really.

I’m sure very few here will agree with me!