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Nuptiality in Latin America

of consensual union or that union type was connected to “class” (a related but

different

concept

to

that

of

status).

But

when

I

was

challenged

to

provide

substantiation for that claim, I was amazed to find little hard evidence.

And

what I did find tended to be limited to women who had participated in

fertility

surveys.

For

instance,

in

a

recent

paper

that

used

Demographic

and

Health Survey data from three Latin American countries (Dominican Republic

1986, Peru 1988, Brazil 1986) Quilodrán (1992) presented a table showing

separately that women who lived in urban areas, and had seven or more years of

school were more likely to be married than in a consensual union both among

20-24

year

olds

and

40-44

year

olds.

Her

figures

also

suggested

that

among

the younger group, women who had worked outside the home before their union

were

less

likely

to

be

formally

married.

While

one

can

easily

consider

the

limitations of her analysis (such as being limited trivariate analysis,

perhaps because of sample size), I was in the awkward position of finding it

much better than nothing but the “common knowledge” that nobody bothered to

substantiate.

Indeed,

I

looked

at

her

references

in

the

hope

of

finding

other

studies similarly documenting socioeconomic differentials, but I came up empty

handed.

Greene’s (1991) use of 1984 data for one Latin American country, Brazil,

limited

to

women,

was

a

big

step

in

the

right

direction.

She

ran

multivariate

analyses at the national-level among different age groups including variables

for race and region as well as years of education, urban/rural residence and

whether

or

not

had

earned

income

(Table

5.4).

Since

the

race

and

region

variables were significant even after including the other variables, she had

evidence to back the claim that there seemed to be a cultural factor behind

union

type

not

explained

by

education,

urban/rural

residence

or

income.

One

is also left to ask whether otherwise, was general “common knowledge” so clear

that

one

did

not

need

documentation

of

“fact?”

And

since

all

the

sparse

21

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