Sociology Faculty Publications


Relationship Formation and Stability in Emerging Adulthood: Do Sex Ratios Matter?

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Research links sex ratios with the likelihood of marriage and divorce. However, whether sex ratios similarly influence precursors to marriage-transitions in and out of dating or cohabiting relationships-is unknown. Utilizing data from the Toledo Adolescent Relationships Study (TARS) and the 2000 census, this study assesses whether sex ratios influence the formation and stability of emerging adults' romantic relationships. Findings show that relationship formation is unaffected by partner availability, yet the presence of partners increases women's odds of cohabiting, decreases men's odds of cohabiting, and increases number of dating partners and cheating among men. It appears that sex ratios influence not only transitions in and out of marriage, but also the process through which individuals search for and evaluate partners prior to marriage.

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Availability via databases maintained by the United States National Library of Medicine.

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Social Forces