Listen to a BBC radio programme where American journalist and writer Anna Lee Rufus talks about the relationship between childhood photos and divorce and complete the gaps in the sentences below with up to THREE WORDS. 0 is an example.
0 If you smiled in your childhood photos, you’re less likely to get divorced.
1 According to Anna, the study found that _____________________ had a much higher rate of divorce.
2 Optimists usually ____________________ people better.
3 Traditionally, in a marriage women are usually __________________ , but husbands are not used to that.
4 There are more divorces among dancers and choreographers than among __________________ .
5 Contributing factors to divorce are ______________________ , stress, illness and time apart.
6 Although the study just shows numbers, it is interesting because it starts conversations and makes people thing about ______________________ .
7 Anna has been with her husband since ______________________ .
8 Anna’s husband ______________________ and vacuums at home.
Now did you smile in your childhood photos? Because if you did apparently you're less likely to get divorced than for those people who are caught frowning at the camera. This amazing finding comes from Anna Lee Rufus, an American journalist and writer. What she's done is she's scoured academic journals to distil from the wealth of data out there a list of factors which correlate with divorce or a reduced chance of a successful marriage. I asked her if marital success really could be traced back to an innocent childhood snap, probably taken decades earlier.
It's scary isn't it? Because you can't go back and change your childhood photographs. They did a big study where they researched yearbook photos and childhood photos of all these participants and gauged them with the current marriage status of these people and they found out that yes, the non-smilers had a much, much higher rate of divorce. And I talked to an expert about this who suggested that it was because smiling in childhood indicates optimism and if you're an optimistic person you're able to withstand hard parts of a marriage, you're able to get along with people better, so that might be why.
Quite a few of the factors are what one might call gender related really, aren't they? The level of basal testosterone in a man, a higher level makes it more likely he'll get a divorce.
Forty-three per cent they say, and a really interesting one is a wife who gets diagnosed with cancer or multiple sclerosis is six times more likely to be abandoned by her healthy husband than a husband. Why is that? I talked to another expert who suggested this was because women are traditionally the caretakers and husbands, who aren't used to caretaking, don't know how to do it, freak out, panic and leave. It's pretty scary too though.
Then you've got a number here which are really to do with your race or your career choice, the most frivolous I suppose you might say is that if you're a dancer or choreographer you're more likely to get divorced than if you're a mathematician, but, you know, more fundamentally Caucasian women are more likely to get divorced than Asian women but less likely than African Americans.
Who knows why? And I have talked to a lot of experts about this, some said some populations get married earlier. Across the board the earlier you get married, the more likely you are to get divorced, youth is a real contributing factor, as are other things, as are stress and illness and time apart.
Well, perhaps this is the slight weakness, because these are not in a way all fully controlled studies, they don't meet the sort of kosher social studies' statistical tests, do they?
Absolutely, in every case you have to say well who is their study group, and when was this done, and how long ago and where? These are numbers, they're just numbers, but they're interesting because they start conversations and they help you think about the bigger picture like what in general are factors that even have to do with relationships breaking up.
I'd love to know what your own risk factors are and whether they've turned out to be true in your case.
I have been married to the same person since 1989 and we've been together since 1979, but then again none of us has ever gotten a catastrophic illness, which I'm, you know, grateful for that.
You don't know what his basal testosterone level is?
You know we've never had it tested, but he does do the dishes so it's probably not super high, he vacuums also.
Anna Lee Rufus, thank you very much.
2 get along with
3 the caretakers
6 the bigger picture
8 does the dishes