Unconventional Wisdom

Christine Whelan | Posted on 04/09/10

Out today: The Council on Contemporary Families round-up of fascinating (and often counter-intuitive) research.

Arm yourself with these fun facts for your next cocktail party or dinner-date (Visit the CCF site for more info on all these studies-and plenty more.) I'm a member of CCF and have contributed to this report -- trust me, it's worth a read. Depending on your world view, you'll be horrified by some of the findings and encouraged by others.

  • Among couples aged 50 and over, Hispanics are especially likely to enjoy a satisfying sex life.
  • More men than women now report work-life conflict.
  • Highly-educated women are slightly more likely to never marry than other women, but their divorce rates are so much lower that by age 40, they are MORE likely to be married than other women.
  • The percentage of American children who live successively with 3 or more of their mother's partners by age 15 is 4 times higher than other Western countries.
  • Most couples experience declining marital quality after childbirth, but a new two-day workshop has been shown to prevent escalating hostility, avert relationship deterioration, and reduce post-partum depression.
  • Times have changed in terms of what men and women say they want in a mate: For men, a woman's education and her ability to earn a good income has become a top-tier priority, while her housekeeping skills have fallen far down on the list of a man's desired traits, a trend that began to appear in the 1970s survey and continues today. For women, a man's desire for a family is more important than the past, but whether he's got a "pleasing disposition" seems less important than it was.
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