All You Need is Love? Mating since the 1950s

Avner Offer

in The Challenge of Affluence

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780199216628
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191696015 | DOI:

Series: The Challenge of Affluence

All You Need is Love? Mating since the 1950s

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This chapter discusses the intractable dilemmas of love under affluence. Love is a gift, not a market commodity. But love competes in the market for time and attention. Romantic love is an intensely immediate experience. Raising children to maturity is a protracted and patient one. Marriage is the traditional bridge from the one experience to the other. Quite apart from supporting children, the partnership of marriage confers economic, physiological, and mental health. But marriage has fallen into disrepair since the 1970s. Contraception and the increasing commodification of sexuality reduced the sexual allure of marriage. No-fault divorce increased the probability of separation and made investment in marriage less secure. For women, the arrival of children weakened their domestic position. The trends of the period indicate higher divorce, fewer children, fewer marriages, more cohabitation, and more births out of wedlock.

Keywords: love; mating; sexuality; marriage; women; divorce

Chapter.  14490 words. 

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