Mate Selection Marital Happiness
Divorce Distribution by Length of Marriage 20 to 24 years of age
Sigmund Freud and the Parental Image Theory • According to the Oedipus complex, the mother becomes the first love object for the male child. • These feelings are eventually suppressed • By adolescence, when the male is free to fall in love, he selects a mate that possesses the qualities of his mother. • According to the Electra complex, the father becomes the first love object for the female child. • These feelings are eventually suppressed • Eventually, the female adolescent seeks a mate with the qualities of her father.
Robert Winch and the Complementary Needs Theory • People choose relationships in which their basic needs can be mutually satisfied. • A careful distinction is made to stress that point that these needs are complementary rather than similar. • Social characteristics may be similar but needs are complementary.
Fritz Heider: Balance Theory • People desire cognitive consistency or balance in their thoughts, feelings, and social relationships.
Social Exchange Theory • People seek out and maintain those relationships in which the rewards exceed the costs. • This theory suggests that behavior of socialized persons is purposive, or goal oriented, and not random. • People repeat behaviors that are rewarded and avoid those that go unrewarded. • If reciprocity does not exist (if nothing is received in return) a relationship will likely terminate.
Sequential Theory • Sequential theories combine other theories in to a series of stages that individuals pass through in the process of mate selection. • An example of this type of theory is the stimulus-value-role (SVR) approach • It suggest that most couples pass through three stages in the process of mate selection.
Sequential Theory • The first point is the stimulus stage • Individuals may be drawn to one another based on the perception of qualities that might be attractive to the other person (physical attributes, voice dress, reputation, proximity, etc.) • It is the initial reason individuals may decide to interact
Sequential Theory • If the requirements of the stimulus stage are met the couple may move on to the value comparison stage. • This stage involves the appraisal of value compatibility through verbal interaction • If value consensus is achieved then the relationship is likely to continue • Dissimilar values may end a relationship
Sequential Theory • The role stage follows a successful comparison of values and here the couple seeks to determine if role consensus exists • Role comparison involves an evaluation of each individual’s expectations for future roles • If role consensus is achieved there is a likelihood that the relationship will continue
Family Satisfaction Stage One: Young couples without children exhibits a high degree of satisfaction for both husband and wife with the wife initially more satisfied than the husband. 51 50 49 48 47 46 45 44 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Wife Husband
Stage Two: Young couples preschool-age children exhibits a high degree of satisfaction for the husband but the wife has a significant decrease in satisfaction. 51 50 49 48 47 46 45 44 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Family Satisfaction Couple who become parents reported lower marital happiness, more tension, and more frequent conflicts after the transition to parenthood than before. Parents were found to report higher levels of psychological distress and anger than do couples without children. Children increase anger level more for mothers than fathers, and each additional child in the household increased the level of anger. Why?
Family Satisfaction For Women: The majority of women have jobs prior to pregnancy, but most leave the job as the pregnancy progresses. On 1 in 5 women remain employed in the month that their child was born. Many of these mothers return to work, but by two years after the birth, their rate of employment is only 60 percent. Wages are significantly affected by the presence of children.
Family Satisfaction For Men: Fathers are more likely to be employed and work more hours than their male counterparts. On the other hand, a working wife/mother requires the father to sacrifice work time in order to contribute more time to the family. One model suggest that fathers work more while the other suggest they work less. Wages are significantly affected by the presence of children.
Stage Three: Young couples with school-age exhibits a declining degree of satisfaction for both husband and wife with the wife still exhibiting lower level of satisfaction than the husband. However, the degree of the wife’s decline is less severe than between stage one and two. 51 50 49 48 47 46 45 44 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Wife Husband
Family Satisfaction The egalitarian ethic A wife's dominance in decision making, which is relatively rare, is associated with the lowest level of satisfaction for both partners. A husband's dominance in decision making may be more frequently associated with satisfaction for the husbands than for the wives. Equal sharing is associated with the highest level of satisfaction for the wives. When measures other than marital satisfaction are considered relative equality is the most beneficial for the relationship
Family Satisfaction Household Task WomenMen • Doing Laundry • Preparing Meals • Grocery Shopping • Cleaning House • Washing Dishes • Caring for Children • Disciplining Children • Yard Work • Minor Home Repairs 79% 27% 78% 26% 72% 26% 69% 22% 68% 31% 72% 12% 42% 28% 21% 63% 16% 74%
Stage Four: Couples with adolescent children both exhibit a declining degree of satisfaction. 51 50 49 48 47 46 45 44 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Wife Husband
Stage Five: Couples with children who are young adults who are getting ready to leave the household. This period is called the launching period and the husband exhibits an increased degree of satisfaction while the wife continues to decline. 51 50 49 48 47 46 45 44 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Wife Husband
Stage Six: Couples with adult children no longer living at home. This is the empty nest period and both husband and wife exhibit an increasing degree of satisfaction with the husband still more satisfied than the wife. 51 50 49 48 47 46 45 44 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Wife Husband
Stage Seven: Couples in the retirement stage of life, without children at home, both exhibit a high degree of satisfaction. The experience is relatively equal for both partners. 51 50 49 48 47 46 45 44 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Wife Husband