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Forms of Conjugal Life Among the 'Young Elderly'

Vincent Caradec
Population: An English Selection
Vol. 9 (1997), pp. 47-73
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2953825
Page Count: 27
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Forms of Conjugal Life Among the 'Young Elderly'
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Abstract

Demographers' interest in conjugal lifestyles was for many years limited to the under-50s. This is the age limit set to define the proportion never-married, for instance, marriages contracted later in life being considered negligible. Such a restriction is explained by the fact that nuptiality is generally studied as a proximate determinant of fertility, which ends roughly when women reach the age of 50. Yet there is life beyond the 50th birthday: an average of 27 years for men and 33 for women. For most people, this is longer than the time spent in union before that birthday. The present study by Vincent Caradec tackles what is a new field of investigation, couple formation among the elderly. He shows that the 60+ have aspirations that are not fundamentally different, in their logic, from those of young adults.

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