Are Russian Women Really So Committed to Their Families? A Glance at the Value of Marriage in Russia Russian women are known both in the United States and abroad as being some of the most devoted to their family and most loyal to their loved ones, but is this really the case? If so, what makes it so they care about building a lasting marriage more so than their American or Western European counterparts? Young Love, Long Love Statistics support the idea of Russian women as uncommonly devoted to and respecting the bonds of marriage. In Russia, it is considered a point of honor for women to marry young-- and marry well. Well over 40% of young women in Russia marry "young", or before age 20, according to a 2004 demographic study by the Max Planck Institute. The same study found that women from Russia were more than half as likely to ever divorce than any other industrialized nation. The study found that, "aspects of marital behavior were extremely stable," and that "The traditional pattern of early and almost universal marriage did not change," meaning in this context that modern Russian women take marriage vows as seriously as the generations that came before them and implying that the cultural explanation for the high Russian marriage rate is due to young women finding marriage highly desirable. A more recent study by a Director of the Institute for Economic Forecasting reiterated this uniquely Russian approach to love-- in Russia, women marry young and feel that it is important to have the kind of loving and lasting marriages they have seen in past generations. Unfortunately, this same demographic shift seems to be slower on the part of Russian men at the same time that there are only 86 men for every 100 women in Russia. Interestingly, social researchers have postulated that this might be the drive behind the rise in women emigrating from Russia at a higher rate than their male peers. Culture and Personality The importance of marriage to Russian women is clear, but why might Russian women care beyond a general cultural value of marriage? A University of Eastern Finland publication on how Russian personalities vary from other cultures, finding Russians to be, "happy, open, hospitable, [and] sociable." These traits translate well into marriage, as they "[do] not want to be alone," and, unlike many modern cultures, "Russian understanding of a 'well-bred person' is still based on the old noble principles." Russian women are unique in that they still value traditional marriage while also remaining open to new ideas and principles. Perhaps, then, Russian success with marriage has to do with the combination of this respect with the ability to openly communicate with their loved ones and make changes when needed to keep the relationship they so value on firm ground. So are Russian brides really more devoted? Do Russian women respect the bonds of marriage? Both demographics and modern social research say that yes, they are more loyal and more so, that it is from the longevity traditional values in Russian culture and possibly even the difficulty Russian women face in finding an eligible and honorable match.