Nearly 40% say marriage is becoming obsolete

Nearly 40% say marriage is becoming obsolete – Marriage is increasingly optional and could be on its way to obsolescence,according to a survey of more than 2,600 Americans that examines changing attitudes about relationships today. Among the 2,691 adults surveyed by the Pew Research Center last month, 39% say marriage is becoming obsolete, up from 28% who responded to the same question posed by Time magazine in 1978.

‘If four in 10 are saying it’s becoming obsolete, they’re registering an awareness of a very important social change,’ says Paul Taylor of Pew.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins responded :

“According to the study, only five percent of Americans under age 30 do not plan on marrying. This doesn’t sound like ‘the end of marriage,’ as some are claiming the survey indicates.

“There’s certainly reason for concern about some trends – such as the increase in the percentage of births that occur out of wedlock from five percent in 1960 to 41 percent in 2008. At the same time, some interpretations of the data expressed in the media are distorted. A decline in the percentage of adults who are married is largely because people delay marriage, not because young men and women are foregoing marriage completely.

“Two-thirds of Americans are ‘optimistic’ about the institutions of marriage and the family. Far fewer say that about schools, the economy, or ‘morals and ethics.’ It’s not surprising that most people consider single parents or cohabiting couples who are raising their own children to be ‘families.’ The question is whether they are the kind of families we should seek or, as a society, should foster and encourage. If a couple is not raising children, Americans are still five times more likely to declare them not to be a family if they are a same-sex or cohabiting couple than if they are married.

The research is still clear – married husbands and wives, and their children, are happier, healthier, and more prosperous than people in any other household setting. Time Magazine’s Belinda Luscombe gets it right in the end when she says that ‘marriage is still the best avenue most people have for making their dreams come true.


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