Love, Marriage, Family Organization and the Puzzle of Neolocality in Non-Industrial Societies: A Cross-Cultural Study

Cross-Cultural Research Vol/Iss. Online only Sage Journals Published In Pages: 1-20
By de Munck, Victor C., Korotayev, Andrey V., Ustyuzhanin, Vadim


This paper presents research on the factors that promote romantic love as a basis for marriage in non-industrial societies. After a discussion of the previous literature on romantic love in ethnographic societies, the authors used the SCCS, EA, and data from eHRAF to create a data set of 109 cultures and then utilized multiple ordinal regression to test the relationship between different types of families and post-marital residence practices and the importance of romantic love in marriage. The findings show that monogamy is significantly correlated with romantic love, while nuclear family organization and neolocal post-marital residence are not significantly correlated. The presence of polygyny is found to lower the probability of romantic love being a basis for marriage. These findings contradict previous research, which found a relationship between non-neolocal post-marital residence and the presence of romantic love in marriage.

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