The Lack of Marriageable Men and Women: A Qualitative Assessment of a Marriage Initiative

Deanna Trella, Bowling Green State University
Heidi Lyons, Bowling Green State University
Nola du Toit, Bowling Green State University

Using qualitative data collected from interviews with participants in a marriage initiative we examine how various factors relating to the marriageablity of men, such as employment, the marriage ideal, issues relating to children, incarceration, domestic abuse, and gender distrust, influence participants’ attitudes towards marriage. In support of other studies we find that less desirable qualities in men, such as unemployment, a history of incarceration, and domestic abuse make men less desirable to women and less likely to be marriage material. In addition, we introduce the concept of marriageable women – the notion that certain limitations make some women poor marriage partners. Like their male counterparts, we suggest that these women may also possess less attractive qualities, such as a history of incarceration, domestic abuse, and poor health. Finally, we consider how the limitations making men and women poor marriage partners affect their views on marriage.

  See paper

Presented in Poster Session 4