A recent study suggests that military men are more likely to get married, but are less likely to end up in a divorce than civilians of measurable characteristics like age, race and educational levels. The trend has remained even when the deployment is far and for extended time period like the recent Iraq or Afghanistan war.

The researchers analyzed data on active-duty males aged 18-41 years from 1998-2005 and Current Population Survey data for civilians aged 18-41. To bring the two sets of data on par with each other, the researchers matched education levels, age, race, ethnic groups and employment.

Over the years, many experts have believed that military marriages are susceptible to divorce as the couples are required to stay geographically separated for a long time and especially during the past few years where deployment was longer than expected. There are conflicting reports on how military deployment affects marriage.

The researchers of this study, however, say that when compared to males of similar social status minus the military tag, veterans tend to have more stable marriages.

“Despite the fact that divorce rates have been rising within the military in recent years, service members are still no more likely to be divorced than comparable civilians” write authors Benjamin R.Karney and colleagues.

The researchers attribute this trend of being married and staying married to the fact that serving in the military “improves marital prospects of service members” and that the entire package of being in marriage-friendly military comes with advantages of having healthcare and childcare thereby suppressing divorce rates.

Another study, that compared marital status of men during Vietnam war, too found that active men in military were more likely to be married than those who were non-veterans.

Earlier research has suggested that women in military have higher divorce rates than men.

The study was published in the Journal of Family Issues.