Which Men Are Marrying and Why?
|Tuesday, February 1,2005 00:00|
The US mainstream society today, there has been a steady decrease (40 percent) of marriage annually from 1970 to 2002. The declining marriage rates have reached federal concerns in the past few years with US Congressional committee hearings taking place. As a part of the process toward welfare reform, a study published by the National Marriage Project at
The survey found that men today are less likely to consider marriage as a process towards adulthood and building a family than in the past. The reasons for delaying or avoiding marriage given ranged from:
Men Likely to Get Married
It was found that men from traditional or religious backgrounds hold positive views towards women and children and were therefore more likely to get married. Men who grew up with both parents, whose fathers participated in their upbringing or held religious values, were more likely to get married, contrary to 55% who were not. Among the married men surveyed, 63% had been living with both their parents at 15 years of age, unlike 55% of unmarried men.
Percentage of Persons Age 35 Through 44 Who Were Married by Sex, 1960-2003, United States
Source: US Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1961, Page 34, Table 27; Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1971, Page 32, Table 38; Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1981, Page 38, Table 49; and US Bureau of the Census, General Population Characteristics, 1990, Page 45, Table 34; and Statistical Abstract of the United States, 2001, Page 48, Table 51; internet tables (www.census.gov/population/socdemo/hh-fam/cps2002/tabA1-all.pdf) and data calculated from the Current Population Surveys, March 2003 Supplement.
*Figure for 2003 was obtained using data from the Current Population Surveys rather than data from the census. The CPS, March Supplement, is based on a sample of the
The report on the survey pays attention to the issue of fertility. In
“Finishing schooling, obtaining full-time employment, and being financially independent” are now the sequence of events in the move towards adulthood, when in the past marriage was the primary and important step towards adulthood, states the report. “For men, even more than for women, marriage is a transformative event. Getting married tends to change men’s behavior in notable and predictable ways. When men marry, they begin to lead healthier and more productive lives. They work harder and do better financially than men who are not married. They are less likely to hang out in bars, to abuse alcohol or drugs or to engage in illegal activities. They are more likely to spend time with relatives and to be involved in religious and community activities. Their sex lives are better. They are more responsible and involved fathers.” Wives take care of the health of their husbands and provide emotional support, stability, and a financial advantage if they work outside of the home. However, among men looking for their perfect partner in life, the survey deduces that the process of constantly looking for the ideal partner may lead to dissatisfaction with a current girlfriend in the hope for a better one. The report also considers the factor of the pornography industry and its role in creating the “soul-mate/babe” as an ideal that can never be realized.