Breakin’ up Is Hard to Do? the Effects of Assortative Mating on Relationship Dissolution in Taiwan
This study examines how inequality within and between generations affects dating, mate selection and marital stability. Although sociologists has long interested in the role of assortative mating on relationship interruptions, their research rarely extends beyond the equivalence of qualifications within the couple. We examine how homogamy at both the individual and family levels affect rates of relationship dissolution in Taiwan. The case of Taiwan is especially interesting because the Chinese family norms that feature frequent intergenerational interactions throughout the life course make the equivalence in status between a couple’s families of origin particularly important in shaping the couple’s romantic relationship and marital relation. Using data from Taiwan Educational Panel Survey and Beyond, our analysis indicates that, although dating between individual with dissimilar traits are common among today’s youth, courtship and marital stability are still highly governed by preferences for status homogamy or hypergamy. Moreover, homogamy in individual characteristics does not make a relationship more stable than similarity in class origin.