“Once Bitten, Twice Shy? Gender Differences in the Remarriage Decision after a Gray Divorce”

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Abstract

Gray divorces, or divorces at and over the age of 50, are increasing in the United States. This article explores this population's interest in remarrying after a divorce by sex within the context of a prospective, role exit theoretical framework. In-depth, qualitative interviews with 40 women and 39 men who have experienced a gray divorce were analyzed using grounded theory methodology. There were significant gender differences with respect to receptivity to remarriage among those who had undergone a gray divorce. More specifically, the most common theme expressed by women involved firmly rejecting remarriage as a part of their futures. The remaining themes articulated by women were conditional pro-remarriage views and then even less commonly, unconditional pro-remarriage views. In contrast, the most common theme among men was that they remained very open to remarriage, either unconditionally or under specified conditions; only a small number rejected the prospect entirely. These findings highlight the differences in the remarriage decision from both the female and male perspectives for this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-176
Number of pages27
JournalSociological Inquiry
Volume89
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science

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