Whose Marriage Is More Resistant to the Risk of Divorce in Turkey: Self-Choice Marriages or Family-Choice Marriages?

Ismet Koç, Hacettepe University Institute of Population Studies
Melike Saraç, Hacettepe University

Although during the last 10 years, the number of marriages has decreased by 6 percent, almost 97 percent of women still marry by age 50 with a slight delay the timing of the marriage. Analysis on the basis of marriage cohorts puts forward that self-choice marriages are on the rise and family-choice marriages, regardless of women’s consent are on the decrease significantly in Turkey. On the other hand, number of divorces has increased by 41 percent during the last 10 years. The study focuses on marital stability in Turkey, and asks the question on which type of marriage is much more resistant, self-choice marriage or family-choice marriage, to the risk of divorce. The analyses suggest that family-choice marriages are less resistant to the risk of divorce compared to self-choice marriage. Our finding confirms Goode's classic thesis about the social diffusion of divorce. Divorce in Turkey appears to be getting much more frequent event among couples in lower segments of the society. In this regard, the risk of divorce is 1.5 times higher among couples married with family decision as opposed to couples married with self-choice under the control of all possible covariates. The higher risk of divorce may be related with the facts that (1) the duration between positive response of female’s family with a small celebration and official marriage at the registry office is shorter (2) the contact between prospective couples is limited in family-choice marriages than the frequency of contact observed in self-choice marriages. Furthermore, as literature points out that the conflicts on marital issues between couples in family-choice marriages are significantly higher than the couples in self-choice marriages, as we found higher emotional violence against women in family-choice marriages. All these factors seem to be negative impacts on the marital stability of couples particularly in arranged marriages.

Presented in Session 46: Partnership Diversity and Partnership Well-Being