Dynamics of Students' Marital Attitudes and Plans

Dynamics of Students' Marital Attitudes and Plans

Gurko T.A.

Dr. Sci. (Sociol.), Leading Researcher, Institute of Sociology FCTAS RAS, Moscow, Russia tgurko@yandex.ru

Tarchenko V.S.

PhD student, Institute of Sociology FCTAS RAS, Moscow, Russia dthfn@rambler.ru

ID of the Article:

The article was prepared with the support of Russian Foundation for Basic Research, grant № 18-011-00580 «The dynamics of students’ opinions in the spheres of family, gender and ethno-cultural relations».

For citation:

Gurko T.A., Tarchenko V.S. Dynamics of Students' Marital Attitudes and Plans. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2019. No 7. P. 102-113


The article discusses the marriage attitudes of students in order to predict the formation of a family among the educated part of the Russian population. The object of the study were undergraduate and graduate students aged 20–24 years. The study was conducted in September– November 2018 in Moscow and Stavropol. In each city, 704 students were surveyed with a record on the dictaphone, who were selected by quotas on the criterion of gender-specialty training and ethnic identity, a total of 1408. Dynamics (2005, 2007–2018) of the preferences of young men and women in terms of age of marriage, ethnicity, religion, citizenship, age, level of education, earnings of the future spouse(s), opinions about the necessary conditions for marriage and attitudes to one marriage for life on the example of Universities in Moscow and Stavropol is presented. Students ‘ attitudes and plans are analyzed depending on gender, ethnic and religious identity, urban-rural origin, level of education of parents, structure of the parent family, specialty of education. The results of the study on the preferred age of marriage are consistent with the data of Rosstat and Eurostat, according to which the average age of marriage is constantly increasing. The proportion of young men and women in Stavropol and in Moscow who plan to marry and at the same time consecrate it in the Church and in the mosque has significantly decreased since 2005–2007. In Stavropol in 2018 in comparison with 2007 the share of both young men-students, and women who are ready to marry the representative of other nationality and with the representative of other religion increased that testifies, first of all, to mitigation of interethnic tension in the multiethnic region. In Moscow, the proportion of students ready to marry a representative of another nationality and religion is consistently high from 2005 to 2018. The proportion of students willing to marry a non-Russian citizen is quite high (72%), regardless of gender, and there are more such students in Moscow than in Stavropol. The attitudes of some female students are to some extent unrealistic, they prefer a spouse who is much older, has a higher level of education and higher income than they have. About a third of young students in 2018, more often than a decade ago, are ready for the fact that their spouse will earn more than themselves, which can cause disagreements in cases of mismatch in the settings of the pair. In respect to one marriage for life Stavropol students are more conservative in comparison with Moscow. However, almost doubled the proportion of Stavropol female students who believe that marriage can be entered into several times. The attitudes of students, including those of the conservative South of Russia, are becoming more liberal with regard to remarriage. Thus, it is possible to predict the increase of heterogeneity of marriages among future specialists by the criterion of ethnic/religious identity, citizenship, age, level of education and income. This trend, on the one hand, may lead to a reduction of inter-ethnic and social tensions, on the other hand, to new sources of conflict in couples and, consequently, to the instability of marriages, given the fact that number of those wishing to consecrate marriage has decreased significantly.

attitudes; marriage; students; gender; heterogeneity; ethnic/religious identity; citizenship; age; education


Esteve A., Schwartz C.R., Van Bavel J., Permanyer I., Klesment M., Garcia J. (2016) The End of Hypergamy: Global Trends and Implications. Population and Development Review. Vol. 42. No. 4: 615–625. DOI: 10.1111/padr.12012.

Gorshkov M.K., Sheregi M.K. (2014) Life Plans of the Russian Youth: the Present and the Future. In: Gorshkov M.K., Li Chunlin, Golenkova Z.T., Kozyreva P.M. (eds) Russia and China: Youth of the XXI Century [monograph]. Moscow: New chronograph: 384–404. (In Russ.)

Gurko T.A. (2016) Theoretical Approaches to Family Studies. 2nd ed., rev. and added. Moscow: Institut sotsiologii RAN. (In Russ.)

Gurko T.A. (2017) New Family Forms: Tendencies of Spreading and Concepts. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. No. 11: 99–110. (In Russ.)

Gurko T.A., Mamikonyan M.S., Bizhanova E.K. (2018) The Researches of Gender Ideology of Youth: the Review of Foreign Works. Sotsiologiya meditsiny [Sociology of Medicine]. Vol. 17. No. 2: 104–113. (In Russ.)

INAB No. 2. (2017) Youth Employment in the Motivational and Structural Dimension. Main editor M.K. Gorshkov. M.: Institut sotsiologii FNICTs RAN. (In Russ.)

Iontsev V.A., Prokhorova U.A. (2012) Formation of a «New Population» in the Light of the Concept of the Fourth Demographic Transition. Vestnik Moskovskogo universiteta. Seriya 6. Ekonomika [Moscow State University Bulletin. Series 6. Economy]. No. 4: 75–87. (In Russ.)

Knapp S.J., Wurm G. (2019) Theorizing Family Change: A Review and Reconceptualization. Journal of Family Theory and Review. No. 2: 4–19.

Labor and Employment in Russia: Statistic collections. (2017) Rosstat. Moscow. (In Russ.)

Lanzieri G. (2012) Merging Populations. A Look at Marriages with Foreign-born Persons in European Countries. Population and Social Conditions. Statistics in Focus. Eurostat. 29/2012. URL: https:// emnbelgium.be/sites/default/files/attachments/eurostat_mixed_marriages.pdf (accessed 20.01.19).

Merton R. (2006) Social Theory and Social Structure. Moscow: AST MOSKVA: KHRANITEL’. (In Russ.)

Nitsche N., Matysiak A., Van Bavel J., Vignoli D. (2015) Partners' Educational Pairings and Fertility across Europe. Families and Societies Working Paper Series. No. 38: 1–37. URL: http://www.familiesandsocieties. eu/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/WP38NitscheEtAl2015.pdf. (accessed 20.01.19).

Qian Y. (2016) Mate Selection in America: Do Spouses’ Incomes Converge When the Wife Has More Education? Dissertation. The Ohio State University. URL: https://etd.ohiolink.edu/!etd.send_file?a ccession=osu1460461118&disposition=inline (accessed 20.11.18).

Tarchenko V.S., Bizhanova E.K. (2018) Views of Students on Marriage and Family: a Review of Russian Studies. Obshchestvo: sotsiologiya, psikhologiya, pedagogika [Society: Sociology, Psychology, Pedagogics]. No. 12: 50–55. DOI: 10.24158/spp.2018.12.7. (In Russ.)

Women and Men of Russia: Statistic collections. (2018) Rosstat. Moscow. (In Russ.)

Content No 7, 2019