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Partner-age in late life unions - ideals vs realities
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Social Work and Psychology, Social work.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0295-898X
University of Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6096-2752
2016 (English)In: 2016 GSA Annual Scientific Meeting: Abstracts, 2016, Vol. 56, no 3, 732- p., Suppl. 3Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Age homo/heterogamy in romantic unions is given little attention in current gerontological research. Still partner age-differences are important for men’s and women’s relationship opportunities. This paper studies actual partner-age (age-difference) in cross-gendered unions, and ideal partner-age both for singles and respondents in unions. The study was carried out by a survey to 60–90 year old Swedes, currently either singles or in a cross-gender relationship (married, cohabiting, LAT) (n=1225). Unions follow a traditionally gendered age structure: 56% of men, but only 16% of women have a younger partner. This pattern is more pronounced: in first unions (p<.001) and unions initiated before 1970 (p<.01). For respondents in unions actual partner-age showed no significant correlation with union form or urbanity (modernity-hypothesis), and not with education or income (power-hypothesis). For respondents in unions Ideal Partner-Age correlates strongly (p<.001; R2=0,76) with actual partner-age (ideal slightly younger). Among single respondents, almost all (92%) single men and half of the single women (47%) prefer a younger partner (8,9 years younger on average for men; 2,2 for women). The proportion preferring a younger partner increases by age, leading to increasingly incompatible age ideals. Results will be discussed in relation to life-course theory; gender and power; the deinstitutionalization hypothesis.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 56, no 3, 732- p., Suppl. 3
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-23273ISI: 000388585003441OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-23273DiVA: diva2:1063722
Conference
2016 GSA Annual Scientific Meeting,November 16-20, 2016, New Orleans, Louisiana
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, P11-0909:1
Available from: 2017-01-10 Created: 2017-01-10 Last updated: 2017-01-30Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard-cite-them-right
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • sv-SE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • de-DE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf