Dynamics of Students' Marital Attitudes and Plans

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Leading Researcher
Affiliation: Institute of Sociology FCTAS RAS
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Affiliation: Institute of Sociology FCTAS RAS
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameSotsiologicheskie issledovaniya
EditionIssue 7

The article discusses the marriage attitudes of students in order to predict the formation of a family among the educated part of the Russian population. The object of the study were undergraduate and graduate students aged 20–24 years. The study was conducted in September–November 2018 in Moscow and Stavropol. In each city, 704 students were surveyed with a record on the dictaphone, who were selected by quotas on the criterion of gender-specialty training and ethnic identity, a total of 1408.

Dynamics (2005, 2007–2018) of the preferences of young men and women in terms of age of marriage, ethnicity, religion, citizenship, age, level of education, earnings of the future spouse(s), opinions about the necessary conditions for marriage and attitudes to one marriage for life on the example of Universities in Moscow and Stavropol is presented.

Students ‘ attitudes and plans are analyzed depending on gender, ethnic and religious identity, urban-rural origin, level of education of parents, structure of the parent family, specialty of education.

The results of the study on the preferred age of marriage are consistent with the data of Rosstat and Eurostat, according to which the average age of marriage is constantly increasing. The proportion of young men and women in Stavropol and in Moscow who plan to marry and at the same time consecrate it in the Church and in the mosque has significantly decreased since 2005–2007.

In Stavropol in 2018 in comparison with 2007 the share of both young men-students, and women who are ready to marry the representative of other nationality and with the representative of other religion increased that testifies, first of all, to mitigation of interethnic tension in the multiethnic region. In Moscow, the proportion of students ready to marry a representative of another nationality and religion is consistently high from 2005 to 2018. The proportion of students willing to marry a non-Russian citizen is quite high (72%), regardless of gender, and there are more such students in Moscow than in Stavropol.

The attitudes of some female students are to some extent unrealistic, they prefer a spouse who is much older, has a higher level of education and higher income than they have. About a third of young students in 2018, more often than a decade ago, are ready for the fact that their spouse will earn more than themselves, which can cause disagreements in cases of mismatch in the settings of the pair.

In respect to one marriage for life Stavropol students are more conservative in comparison with Moscow. However, almost doubled the proportion of Stavropol female students who believe that marriage can be entered into several times. The attitudes of students, including those of the conservative South of Russia, are becoming more liberal with regard to remarriage.

Thus, it is possible to predict the increase of heterogeneity of marriages among future specialists by the criterion of ethnic/religious identity, citizenship, age, level of education and income. This trend, on the one hand, may lead to a reduction of inter-ethnic and social tensions, on the other hand, to new sources of conflict in couples and, consequently, to the instability of marriages, given the fact that number of those wishing to consecrate marriage has decreased significantly.

Keywordsattitudes, marriage, students, gender, heterogeneity, ethnic/religious identity, citizenship, age, education
AcknowledgmentThe article was prepared with the support of Russian Foundation for Basic Research, grant № 18-011-00580 «The dynamics of students’ opinions in the spheres of family, gender and ethno-cultural relations».
Publication date16.07.2019
Number of characters28844
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