Spouse selection in Canada, 1921-78: an examination by age, sex and religion.

Abstract

This paper presents time series data on spouse selection in Canada for the period 1921-1978. Homogamous and endogamous trends are examined by age, sex, and religion. In the case of religious endogamy, most groups have shown decreasing proportions of marriages. There are also considerable differences in rates of endogamy among religious groups, and these differences have largely persisted over time. Until 1971, the proportions of brides marrying older and younger grooms decreased, while the proportion marrying the same age increased, after which these trends reversed. Younger males increasingly tended to select brides of their own age group until the 1960s, while older males have been increasingly heterogamous since World War II. While these changes in spouse selection have been examined with respect to changes in the unmarried population, the relation between the 2 trends is not clear, and it is difficult to account fully for the observed trends in spouse selection with respect to age.

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