The Oscar Curse Confirmed: Female Winners More Likely To Divorce

Posted on Feb 15, 2011
For years, actresses have called it the “Oscar Curse” – you win best female performance in a leading role, and then your marriage falls apart. Now, a study has found that it’s not just in their heads: actresses who win an Academy Award are more likely to get divorced in the years after their trophy win than their male counterparts, and winning an Oscar is more troubling for your marriage than merely being nominated.

According to researchers at Carnegie Mellon and the University of Toronto, sixty percent of all women given a Best Actress nod experienced a divorce after the nomination, and those who won the award were 1.68 times more likely to get a divorce than the women they beat for the prize. There was not a significant difference found among Best Actor nominees and winners.

The study tracked Academy Award nominee divorces back to 1936.

What’s the reason for this trend? Unfortunately, the study’s findings echo other studies that examine higher divorce rates among successful women as well as divorce rates among women who make a significantly larger salary than their husband. Some marital experts believe that the success of powerful women can be hard on the self-esteem of their partners, and that women who enjoy financial success might demand greater equality when it comes to sharing household responsibilities such as cleaning and childcare. Of course, others believe that the “Oscar Curse” may also have something to do with the growing egos of the women who have been declared the best actress of the year.

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