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Fam Relat. 2010 Feb 1;59(1):87-102. Epub 2010 Mar 20.

Marriageable Women: A Focus on Participants in a Community Healthy Marriage Program.

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Bowling Green State University.


Although disadvantaged women are the targets of marriage programs, little attention has been paid to women's marriage constraints and their views of marriage. Drawing on an exchange framework and using qualitative data collected from single women participating in a marriage initiative, we introduce the concept of marriageable women-the notion that certain limitations may make women poor marriage partners. Like their male counterparts, we find women also possess qualities that are not considered assets in the marriage market, such as economic constraints, mental and physical health issues, substance use, multiple partner fertility, and gender distrust. We also consider how women participating in a marriage program frame their marriage options, whereas a few opt out of the marriage market altogether.

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