Lion of the Blogosphere

Divorce and social class

Commenters have been touting the extremely misleading statistic that early marriage has a higher likelihood of divorce, forgetting the rule not to confuse correlation with causation.

Higher social class people are less likely to get divorced. Higher social class people don’t marry before they are finished graduating from college, because it’s just not what their social class does.

Thus a marriage that takes place at an age prior to college graduation predicts low social class which in turn predicts a higher likelihood of divorce, but it’s not because they got married at an earlier age, it’s because they came from a bad pedigree in the first place.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 17, 2017 at 4:07 pm

Posted in Males and Females

38 Responses

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  1. I’m glad you point out the class status aspects. I generally analyze and make personal decisions like a Mr Spock. So I forget that others are more influenced by what their peers are doing.


    March 17, 2017 at 4:39 pm

  2. Maybe divorce isn’t such a bad thing. “Till Death” comes from a time when death happened at 35. If 50% of marriages last for life, that really isn’t so bad.

    People have been getting divorced forever, it’s just now people have more opportunity to do so.

    Otis the Sweaty

    March 17, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    • It is a myth that people in the Renaissance and early modern era were all keeling over at 35. Average life expectancy was much lower because high rates of death among babies and children; people who made it to 18 or so had almost as much chance to reach 60 as people now.


      March 17, 2017 at 6:22 pm

      • Thank You… geez. I’m glad at least one other person in the world realizes this.

        Thomas Hobbes (of “nasty brutish and short” fame) can go f*** off and die.

        That was revisionist history, for those of you who don’t play along at home.

        Fact Checker

        March 17, 2017 at 7:46 pm

      • It’s also why comparisons of life expectancy between countries is meaningless. Most of the countries on this planet have no idea what their infant mortality rate is, and a lot of those that technically do use differing definitions (including those who use the UN definition).


        March 18, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    • It is a myth that people in the Renaissance and early modern era were all keeling over at 35.

      It isn’t a myth.

      Mozart died at 35.

      The Undiscovered Jew

      March 17, 2017 at 7:15 pm

      • Sample size of N = 1

        Fact Checker

        March 17, 2017 at 7:48 pm

      • Gozo was right. It’s largely a myth.


        March 17, 2017 at 8:30 pm

      • Mozart wrote a piece of music commemorating the Great Siege of Gibraltar. George Augustus Elliot, who commanded the victorious British forces during the siege, lived to be 72.


        March 17, 2017 at 8:41 pm

      • Sample size of N = 1

        Sample for yourself.

        Check how long other various historical figures lived before 1900 and you will see they often died at what we would consider to be early ages.

        Chopin died at 39, Beethoven at 56.

        The average lifespan of French Kings who lived into adulthood is in the low 50s.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        March 18, 2017 at 12:33 pm

      • “Check how long other various historical figures lived before 1900 and you will see they often died at what we would consider to be early ages.”

        America’s seven founding fathers

        John Adams 90
        James Madison 85
        Benjamin Franklin 84
        John Jay 83
        Thomas Jefferson 83
        George Washington 67 <<< throat infection
        Alexander Hamilton 49 <<< killed in a duel


        March 18, 2017 at 1:32 pm

      • America’s seven founding fathers

        Most of the founders lived longer than many contemporary European monarchs such as Joseph II who died at 49. Perhaps the founders had an advantage because America was underpopulated whereas European royalty lived in large cities.

        Still, adults died earlier before 1900. If medicine of the time was almost useless reducing infant mortality it wasn’t notably better treating adults.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        March 18, 2017 at 3:43 pm

      • Mozart’s contemporary Clementi died at 80, and Chopin’s contemporary Liszt at 74. Haydn was 77.

        Ancient Greek playwright Sophocles died at between 90-92, Aeschylus at 67, and Euripides at 74. Plato around 80. St. Augustine 75.

        There were a lot more people dying young in pre-modern times because since then we’ve improved sanitation and nutrition, and invented cures for many common diseases. But for the umpteenth time, the main reason for the lower average life expectancy was an order-of-magnitude greater infant mortality rate.


        March 18, 2017 at 4:26 pm

      • 18th century British artists and writers

        Samuel Johnson. 75
        Joshua Reynolds 68
        David Hume 65
        Adam Smith 67
        Thomas Gainsborough 61
        George Romney 67
        Edmund Burke 68
        Fanny Burney 87


        March 18, 2017 at 5:43 pm

      • 18th century British artists and writers

        Only two lived passed 70. And these are the elites. Proles from their times almost certainly died at younger ages.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        March 19, 2017 at 5:27 pm

  3. For example, my mom, who grew up in Poor Middle-of-Nowhere, Mississippi had a couple female cousins who got married around 14 and went on to stay married for 50 or 60 years (till death basically). Maybe they weren’t Ivy League material but they were pretty intelligent and had good values; it was just that in the environment where they grew up, there were no class markers based on waiting around to get married.

    Jokah Macpherson

    March 17, 2017 at 5:07 pm

  4. Can we test that? Could we show (class or education, controlled for age-of-marriage) predicts divorce much better than (age-of-marriage, controlled for class or education)?


    March 17, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    • I’m sure that once you control for socioeconomic status and IQ, the gap narrows. That being said, I still don’t trust two teens to marry each other for life even if they are upper middle class and have IQs of 120.


      March 18, 2017 at 3:44 pm

  5. Lion, there are always ladder of distinction : very low background people marry very young and have kids, upper class to that after graduation like 25-30, but ultra-upper class, when they are conservative, use to marry at a very young age, while they are still at university level (like girls 20 and boy 25), and use to have more than 5 children, at least in France, wich is really strange, because normal upper class have 1 or 2 children. Then, utra-ultra high class, industrial billionnaires, generally have only 1 or 2 kids max., not to disparage the empire. Every class distinguished itself from the one under itself ….. so there are point in common with very different ladder.

    Bruno from Paris

    March 17, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    • There aren’t enough upper-class people to have any significant impact on the general statistics. It’s more about the SWPL class vs. the prole class.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      March 17, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    • A couple of years ago, I went through the Forbe’s list and calculated the number of kids the top 200 wealthiest Americans had. It was much higher than the national average for both men and women.


      March 17, 2017 at 7:30 pm

      • I went through the Forbe’s list and calculated the number of kids the top 200 wealthiest Americans had.

        It’s pretty interesting that this is a blogosphere where people do this sort of thing.

        S.J., Esquire

        March 17, 2017 at 8:32 pm

      • Interesting…I did the same a few years before and found no significant difference.

        Jokah Macpherson

        March 17, 2017 at 9:17 pm

      • Jokah — My results showed they averaged around 3 children compared to a national average of only 2.


        March 18, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    • My kids go to school with the children of old money WASP aristocrats. We’re not old money, I am white trash and my wife grew up in Nicaragua. But I’ve gotten to know lots of TOOS people, and they tend to marry in their mid 20’s and have kids soon thereafter. And 4-5 children families are not uncommon. Your urban professional strivers tend to marry later and have fewer children.

      I personally think it’s wonderful to see large, happy families with lots of children. I hope that my own kids marry reasonably young (like in their mid-20’s) and have large families. A lot of people are delaying marriage and childbirth because due to economic pressures, which is perfectly understandable. But having a large family, at a reasonable age, is worth it.

      No one wants to bring their baby home to a shitty rental apartment, everyone wants to buy a single family home with a white picket fence first. But we brought our kids home to a shitty 1BR apartment, and it was worth it. Today our living conditions are still pretty crappy, 1100 sq ft house in a neighborhood populated mostly by immigrants. We could afford a nicer house if we weren’t sending our kids to such an expensive school. I’d like to live in a nicer house, but i’d never sacrifice our kids’ education to do so.

      But the idea that the TOOS class marries and has kids YOUNGER than the Ivy League striver class does appear to have some validity, in my experience. Note, most TOOS people aren’t necessarily brilliant or highly driven. They often come from good, stable family situations. Most of them value education highly, even if they’re not super-smart. And of course, their money insulates them from a lot of the stress and dysfunction that other people feel. These days, financial pressures cause strivers to delay childbirth, but the TOOS doesn’t feel that pressure, so they go ahead and have kids at a young age. Ironically this makes them younger than the other parents in the neighborhood, at school. etc. But it’s a nice thing.

      Joe Schmoe

      March 17, 2017 at 8:27 pm

  6. I think just waiting until 25 or so makes a big difference in the success of a marriage. I’ve observed that people really change from 18 to 25. Who you are at 18, or 21, is no indicator of who you will be at 25. That has consequences in a marriage.

    Mike Street Station

    March 17, 2017 at 6:34 pm

  7. What a 17-22-year-old girl who gets pregnant is expected to do is a very strong class indicator.

    Underclass: become baby mama and go on welfare
    Working-class: shotgun marriage
    SWPL: get an abortion


    March 17, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    • Getting pregnant is prole. With the abundance of easy and effective birth control there is no excuse aside from a slowed mind or wanton lust, both burdens of the great unwashed.


      March 17, 2017 at 7:48 pm

      • “Getting pregnant is prole”

        A comment that’s worth saving!

        Mike Street Station

        March 17, 2017 at 8:25 pm

      • Yes, but it’s not unheard of among SWPLs (it’s somewhat unheard-of because it’s typically hushed-up).


        March 17, 2017 at 9:06 pm

      • Didn’t we have another such perfect correlation observation recently in the comment section of this blog. Oh yeah it was how you like your steaks.

        Paul Ryan's Sickly Old Lapdog

        March 18, 2017 at 10:33 pm

  8. I’m a divorce lawyer. The number one cause of divorce is the woman making more money than the man. Women hate that dynamic and seek to leave after a few years of it happening. Societal changes have increased that dynamic in most socio-economic groups.


    March 17, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    • The number one cause of divorce is the woman making more money than the man. Women hate that dynamic and seek to leave after a few years of it happening

      This is what the manosphere repeats, and yet… I don’t see it, and I know a lot of these couples. What would you say is the typical age range for this to occur?

      S.J., Esquire

      March 17, 2017 at 8:35 pm

  9. It is difficult to differentiate causation from correlation. However, Thiel Fellowship annually awards $100,000 to 20 people people under the age of 20 in order to spur them to drop out of college and create families. Check out how they are doing.

    My Two Cents

    March 17, 2017 at 7:41 pm

  10. You’re missing the point, it isn’t social class – not directly – but time preference. Recall that high time preference is high desire for high times, personal pleasure and gratification, now. Low time preference is willing to put off pleasure and gratification. It is ye olde grasshopper versus ant. The “ants” will forego marriage, living together, and even regular sex until the man has obtained reasonably assured and compensated employment. The “grasshoppers” what it now and plan little for the future. Similarly, it is likely that if a marriage has problems, one or both partners will be unwilling to take the time or effort it resolve the problems, or one or both will look for pleasure in a different bed. Either way, divorce should likely be more likely. Additionally, since at least one partner is more concerned with self gratification, that partner will be more likely to seek pleasures and satisfaction outside of the marriage.

    John Henderson

    March 17, 2017 at 8:13 pm

  11. I read a blog post a while ago that looked into this. The numbers suggested that the connection between age and marriage was simply that younger women are more likely to initiate divorce in any given year.

    Basically, the idea is that you shouldn’t look at the chance of a particular marriage ending, but at the chance of a woman ending whatever marriage she happens to be in at the time.


    March 17, 2017 at 8:49 pm

  12. SWPL parents financially subsidize their daughters’ most intensely hypergamous years. This increases the likelihood that they’ll get it out of their system and settle down with a high-earning beta male husband after grad school or during the early phase of their careers. Prole parents don’t have that luxury. Their daughters marry early for the financial security marriage affords and then many of them look to cash in on their SMV a second time by divorcing their first husband if the opportunity to “marry up” becomes available.

    Pizza Prole

    March 18, 2017 at 2:58 pm

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