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Work-Family Conflict: The Effects of Religious Context on Married Women’s Participation in the Labor Force

August 27, 2014 Comments off

Work-Family Conflict: The Effects of Religious Context on Married Women’s Participation in the Labor Force
Source: Religions

Past work shows religion’s effect on women’s career decisions, particularly when these decisions involve work-family conflict. This study argues that the religious context of a geographic area also influences women’s solutions to work-family conflict through more or less pervasive normative expectations within the community regarding women’s roles and responsibilities to the family. We use the American Community Survey linked with community-level religious proportions to test the relationship between religious contexts and women’s participation in the labor force in the contiguous United States–2054 census geographic areas. Using spatial analysis, we find that community religious concentration is related to the proportion of women who choose not to work. Communities with a higher proportion of the population belonging to conservative religious traditions also have a greater proportion of married women choosing not to work outside the home.

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CRS — Same-Sex Marriage: A Legal Background After United States v. Windsor (August 15, 2014)

August 25, 2014 Comments off

Same-Sex Marriage: A Legal Background After United States v. Windsor (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The issue of same-sex marriage generates debate on both the federal and state levels. Either legislatively or judicially, same-sex marriage is legal in more than a dozen states. Conversely, many states have statutes and/or constitutional amendments limiting marriage to the union of one man and one woman. These state-level variations raise questions about the validity of such unions outside the contracted jurisdiction and have bearing on the distribution of state and/or federal benefits. As federal agencies grappled with the interplay of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the distribution of federal marriage-based benefits, questions arose regarding DOMA’s constitutionality and the appropriate standard (strict, intermediate, or rational basis) of review to apply to the statute.

In United States v. Windsor, a closely divided U.S. Supreme Court held that Section 3 of DOMA, which prohibited federal recognition of same-sex marriage, violated due process and equal protection principles. As such, federal statutes that refer to a marriage and/or spouse for federal purposes should be interpreted as applying equally to legally married same-sex couples recognized by the state. However, the Court left unanswered questions such as (1) whether samesex couples have a fundamental right to marry and (2) whether state bans on same-sex marriage are constitutionally permissible.

Parental child abduction within the EU

August 20, 2014 Comments off

Parental child abduction within the EU
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

The separation of parents is always a complicated and sensitive issue for the ex-partners and the child(ren). Citizens recurrently turn to the European Parliament asking for help in cases of alleged discrimination on grounds of nationality regarding parental authority or in cases of possible parental child abduction.

The number of bi-national marriages in the EU is constantly growing. When such a marriage breaks down the ex-partners often decide to return to their respective country of origin. If a couple has a child the situation can become very complicated. Frequently, once parents have separated, the parent who does not have custody of the child(ren) abducts them or refuses to send them back following an access visit. Another scenario is even more common: children are removed or retained by their primary carer, but without the permission of the other parent. This is in breach of the legal rights of the other parent and often leads to court proceedings.

CRS — Nonmarital Births: An Overview (July 30, 2014)

August 13, 2014 Comments off

Nonmarital Births: An Overview (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Although nonmarital births (i.e., births to unmarried women) are not a new phenomenon, their impact on families has not diminished and there is much agreement that the complexity of modern family relationships and living arrangements may further complicate the well-being of children born to unwed mothers.

For the past six years (2008-2013), the percentage of all U.S. births that were nonmarital births remained unchanged at about 41% (1.6 million births per year), compared with 28% of all births in 1990 and about 11% of all births in 1970. Many of these children grow up in mother-only families. Although most children who grow up in mother-only families or step-parent families become well-adjusted, productive adults, the bulk of empirical research indicates that children who grow up with only one biological parent in the home are more likely to be financially worse off and have worse socioeconomic outcomes (even after income differences are taken into account) compared to children who grow up with both biological parents in the home.

Facts for Features: Unmarried and Single Americans Week Sept. 21-27, 2014

August 12, 2014 Comments off

Facts for Features: Unmarried and Single Americans Week Sept. 21-27, 2014
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

The Buckeye Singles Council started “National Singles Week” in Ohio in the 1980s to celebrate single life and recognize singles and their contributions to society. The week is now widely observed during the third full week of September (Sept. 21-27 in 2014) as “Unmarried and Single Americans Week,” an acknowledgment that many unmarried Americans do not identify with the word “single” because they are parents, have partners or are widowed. In this edition of Facts for Features, unmarried people include those who were never married, widowed or divorced, unless otherwise noted.

Social network sites, marriage well-being and divorce: Survey and state-level evidence from the United States

August 5, 2014 Comments off

Social network sites, marriage well-being and divorce: Survey and state-level evidence from the United States
Source: Computers in Human Behavior

This study explores the relationship between using social networks sites (SNS), marriage satisfaction and divorce rates using survey data of married individuals and state-level data from the United States. Results show that using SNS is negatively correlated with marriage quality and happiness, and positively correlated with experiencing a troubled relationship and thinking about divorce. These correlations hold after a variety of economic, demographic, and psychological variables related to marriage well-being are taken into account. Further, the findings of this individual-level analysis are consistent with a state-level analysis of the most popular SNS to date: across the U.S., the diffusion of Facebook between 2008 and 2010 is positively correlated with increasing divorce rates during the same time period after controlling for all time-invariant factors of each state (fixed effects), and continues to hold when time-varying economic and socio-demographic factors that might affect divorce rates are also controlled. Possible explanations for these associations are discussed, particularly in the context of pro- and anti-social perspectives towards SNS and Facebook in particular.

The Reversal of the Gender Gap in Education and Trends in Marital Dissolution

July 30, 2014 Comments off

The Reversal of the Gender Gap in Education and Trends in Marital Dissolution (PDF)
Source: American Sociological Review

The reversal of the gender gap in education has potentially far-reaching consequences for marriage markets, family formation, and relationship outcomes. One possible consequence is the growing number of marriages in which wives have more education than their husbands. Past research shows that this type of union is at higher risk of dissolution. Using data on marriages formed between 1950 and 2004 in the United States, we evaluate whether this association has persisted as the prevalence of this relationship type has increased. Our results show a large shift in the association between spouses’ relative education and marital dissolution. Specifically, marriages in which wives have the educational advantage were once more likely to dissolve, but this association has disappeared in more recent marriage cohorts. Another key finding is that the relative stability of marriages between educational equals has increased. These results are consistent with a shift away from rigid gender specialization toward more flexible, egalitarian partnerships, and they provide an important counterpoint to claims that progress toward gender equality in heterosexual relationships has stalled.

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