A very cute satirical article appeared on the Onion – one of my favorite diversions – today. See here their farcical study of swan and human social behavior.
Contrary to the joke of the article, a recent study shows that in the human species (the study did not observe swans) divorce rates are actually declining since a peak in the 70s and early 80s. See here the NYT’s write-up of the study. As an interesting corollary, the use of prenuptial agreements continues to increase. See here a Huffington Post write up of a survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. I have long advocated that, for many couples, entering into a prenuptial agreement can enable a marriage for love by removing, through a contract, financial or other fears the parties may have about marriage – particularly in cases where there is full financial disclosure, and competent legal representation of each party.
Unfortunately, there is no data analyzing the use of prenuptial agreements in the animal kingdom. Relatedly, I am interested to see what impact, if any, the burgeoning swan feminist movement will have on their mating habits and on the gender imbalance in time spent on household work and child-rearing.