Sexual frequency and the stability of marital and cohabiting unions

Scott T. Yabiku, Constance T. Gager

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    49 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Prior research found that lower sexual frequency and satisfaction were associated with higher rates of divorce, but little research had examined the role of sexual activity in the dissolution of cohabiting unions. We drew upon social exchange theory to hypothesize why sexual frequency is more important in cohabitation: (a) cohabitors' lower costs of finding sexual alternatives, (b) cohabitors' lower barriers to ending the relationship in the form of union-specific economic and noneconomic capital, and (c) cohabitors' higher expectations for sexual activity. Using the National Survey of Families and Households (N = 5,902), we examined the relationship between sexual frequency and union dissolution. Results indicated that low sexual frequency was associated with significantly higher rates of union dissolution among cohabitors than married couples.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)983-1000
    Number of pages18
    JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
    Volume71
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Nov 2009

    Fingerprint

    exchange theory
    married couple
    cohabitation
    divorce
    costs
    economics
    Sexual
    Dissolution

    Keywords

    • Cohabitation
    • Dissolution
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Sexual frequency

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

    Cite this

    Sexual frequency and the stability of marital and cohabiting unions. / Yabiku, Scott T.; Gager, Constance T.

    In: Journal of Marriage and Family, Vol. 71, No. 4, 11.2009, p. 983-1000.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Yabiku, Scott T. ; Gager, Constance T. / Sexual frequency and the stability of marital and cohabiting unions. In: Journal of Marriage and Family. 2009 ; Vol. 71, No. 4. pp. 983-1000.
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