Volume 37 - Article 61 | Pages 1933–1948

The decline in consanguineous marriage among Muslims in Israel: The role of education

By Jona Schellekens, Guy Kenan, Ahmad Hleihel

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Date received:30 Mar 2017
Date published:14 Dec 2017
Word count:2348
Keywords:consanguineous marriage, educational attainment, school enrollment


Background: There are two explanations for the inverse relationship between consanguinity and women's education. The female empowerment hypothesis posits that better-educated women will demand more freedom in choosing a marriage partner, whereas the role incompatibility hypothesis posits that school enrollment may prevent women from fulfilling spousal obligations.

Objective: This article presents estimates of the relative contributions of school enrolment and educational attainment to the decline in consanguineous marriage.

Methods: Our data comes from three rounds of the Palestinians in Israel Socio-Economic Survey. Using multinomial logistic regression analysis, we estimated discrete-time event history models to assess the effects of education on the probability of a consanguineous marriage. To test the two hypotheses we constructed two distinct education vectors for each woman from information on the number of years of schooling. The first charts yearly enrolment in education, whereas the second vector reflects actual attainment in each year.

Results: Between 1975‒1979 and 2005‒2010, consanguineous marriage declined by almost 60%. The rise in the age of leaving school explains about a third of the decline. Educational attainment did not contribute to the decline.

Contribution: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to present estimates of the relative contributions of school enrolment and educational attainment to the decline in consanguineous marriage.

Author's Affiliation

Jona Schellekens - Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel [Email]
Guy Kenan - Central Bureau of Statistics, Jerusalem, Israel [Email]
Ahmad Hleihel - Central Bureau of Statistics, Jerusalem, Israel [Email]

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

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» The role of education in explaining trends in self-rated health in the United States, 1972–2018
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» Does the association between children and happiness vary by level of religiosity? The evidence from Israel
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» Religiosity and marital fertility among Muslims in Israel
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