Dating in the 1970s

Fertility and pregnancy control made possible by "the pill" and legalized abortion may help to explain both the recent decline in divorces and a rise in out-of-wedlock births.These are among the intriguing and often unexpected trends documented in Marriage and Divorce: Changes and Driving Forces (NBER Working Paper No.This rate is going down even when taking into account that there are fewer marriages."For marriages that occurred in the 1950s through the 1970s, the figures clearly show that the probability of divorce before each anniversary rose for each successive marriage cohort," they write.

These forces include the aforementioned rise of the birth control pill; higher incomes for women and greater access to education; and new household labor-saving technologies that make it more likely a marriage today will involve people with "similar incomes and interests" as opposed to individuals with clearly defined and distinctly different domestic and wage earning roles.

They note that by removing an unplanned pregnancy from the equation, the birth control pill has allowed women to be more selective about whom they will marry and when they will marry.

They cite research reporting that college-educated women who use the pill have a higher age at first marriage, lower divorce rates, and lower marriage rates.

Dates at the malt shop or drugstore soda fountain, drive-in movie, or school dance were typical of this era.

Sexual desires were as powerful then as they have ever been, but ruining one's reputation (the girl's), and the scandal and shame unwanted pregnancy would bring kept many a yearning in check.

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