The Evolution of Marriage?

In this day in age, when everything in the world seems to be changing
and evolving- from the economy, to the environment, to the boom of the
internet world- is only fitting that the institution of marriage
should be changing as well. In a recent Times article, a few
interesting and thought provoking questions were posed: Who needs
marriage? What is marriage for, and for whom? And finally, Is it
obsolete?

Framing the entire article around the new marriage between Prince
William and Catherine Middleton, The Times takes us on a journey-
exploring the fundamental differences between marriage now, and what
it has been in the past. Why is it that in 1960, the year before
Princess Diana, William’s mother was born, almost 70% of American
adults were married, and now, only half are. In the 60’s, two-thirds
of 20-somethings were married, versus 26% in 2008. And why is it that
college graduates are 64% more likely to marry than those with no
higher education? In 1978, when divorce rates were higher than today,
a TIME poll asked Americans if they thought marriage was becoming
obsolete. Twenty-eight percent thought it was; when asked again this
year, a Pew survey reveals that nearly 40% of Americans think marriage
is obsolete now, and yet, as the Times article points out, marriage is
still very desirable. The article continues to explore the nature of
marriage, showing how the wealth disparity between married and the
unmarried has grown so much over the past 50 years, and how this
disparity relates to other issues regarding marriage.

Connecting marriage statistically with the economy, socio-economic
differences, and education is not a perspective we often choose to
examine, but it is definitely an interesting one, and one worth paying
attention to. In the end- beyond understanding these statistics and
findings- the Times article has inspired us to take a critical look at
ourselves- to stop and think about where we might rest on this
spectrum, and how these new parameters transform our own views on
marriage and what it means to us personally. What does marriage mean
to you?

Comments are closed.