Monday, March 19, 2001
Divorce predictors examined at President's Colloquium
By Jeff Samoray, OU Web Writer
OU Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology Terri Orbuch examines marriage and divorce in the "Race, Gender and Marital Stability in America" lecture, which is part of the President's Colloquium series of lectures.
Orbuch's lecture, scheduled for Tuesday, March 20, at noon in the Oakland Center Gold Rooms, is based on her research tracking 373 couples since they first married in 1986. Orbuch and other researchers targeted both white and African American couples, all of whom applied for marriage licenses in Wayne County.
"The main theme of the lecture will be the predictors of divorce over time and how they differ by race and gender," Orbuch said. "I'll also be contrasting these with the more popular presentations of relationships and divorce in the media, which tend to perpetuate myth."
The predictors of divorce differ by race and gender, according to Orbuch.
"What men look at as important to the stability of a marriage is different from the values women key into," she said. "Men and women lead very different lives and have different needs. Men and women are socialized and taught differently from very early on in their lives."
Orbuch's marriage research began with an interest in what keeps relationships together and what breaks them apart.
"For many people, marriage is the one relationship most important in their lives," she said. "Unfortunately, there are many myths surrounding marriage and divorce. I've tried to scientifically examine the common-sense notions and support them or refute them by studying a large sample of married people over time."