Soviets Marrying Too Young, Expert Cautions

From Reuters

Too many Soviet couples are marrying too young and are ill-prepared for family life, contributing significantly to the the country’s soaring divorce rate, a demography expert reports.

Writing in the Young Communist daily Komsomolskaya Pravda, Viktor Perevedentstev said hasty decisions were also behind an increasing number of single-parent families.

“Measure your cloth before you cut,” he warned young women especially, saying they often married for the wrong reasons--fear of being left on the shelf or because their girlfriends had already found husbands.

Women could afford to wait because a postwar shortage of men had now been redressed in their favor, he added. For every 75 to 85 potential brides there are 100 grooms.


His comments were illustrated by a letter in the weekly paper Nedelya from a 16-year-old boy who complained: “I love my girlfriend, but she doesn’t seem to love me, just wants to get married. What shall I do?”

Lamenting the passing of days when every 10-year-old girl knew how to look after her younger brothers and sisters, Perevedentsev said a recent survey revealed that half the couples questioned said they were incompetent parents.

He welcomed family education courses recently introduced into the Soviet school curriculum to prepare youngsters for married life.