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Is marriage becoming obselete in the US? why and what are the effects, if any

A study by the Pew Research Center, in association with Time magazine, highlights rapidly changing notions of the American family. And the Census Bureau, too, is planning to incorporate broader definitions of family when measuring poverty, a shift caused partly by recent jumps in unmarried couples living together.

About 29 percent of children under 18 now live with a parent or parents who are unwed or no longer married, a fivefold increase from 1960, according to the Pew report being released Thursday. Broken down further, about 15 percent have parents who are divorced or separated and 14 percent who were never married. Within those two groups, a sizable chunk — 6 percent — have parents who are live-in couples who opted to raise kids together without getting married.

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Asked by sweet-a-kins at 9:49 AM on Nov. 18, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

Level 34 (67,502 Credits)
Answers (18)
  • Indeed, about 39 percent of Americans said marriage was becoming obsolete. And that sentiment follows U.S. census data released in September that showed marriages hit an all-time low of 52 percent for adults 18 and over.

    In 1978, just 28 percent believed marriage was becoming obsolete.


    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 9:49 AM on Nov. 18, 2010

  • I don't think marriage will ever become obsolete. At least I hope not. There will always be those of us who believe in the sanctity of marriage.

    Answer by duckigrrl at 9:53 AM on Nov. 18, 2010

  • we have a society that rewards people for NOT getting married. look at welfare. look at how we treat the sexually promiscuous men and women out there!! I dont think people should get married unless they truly want to . there should not be an excuse like having a child, etc. it should be somethign they truly want. but american society rewards unmarried mothers or fathers with custody way too much.

    Answer by katiPeas at 9:57 AM on Nov. 18, 2010

  • back into history, marriage was more of an arrangment
    women had no money, no power, no property
    they had to marry
    so marriage was more of a money issue

    now that woman are in the workforce and are more stable on their own (still not even but getting there)
    it makes sense that less marriage

    marriage of course it not just a issue but is a love committment
    the decrease in amrriage is aslo a social statement
    but i think it makes it easier to leave, i think it would be wonderful if all childs grew up with both parents in a loving marriage and both parents are great parents and act like responsible adults- this is not the case-marriage or no marriage...but this starts another debate/question of is society making people less moral

    Answer by fiatpax at 9:59 AM on Nov. 18, 2010

  • Well, most of the 6% kids must be in my DD's school....LOL. Because im the only parent i know at her school since she's been going there in kindergarten, that has divorced her father & remarried. All her friends in school find it weird that she has a step dad. I find that so strange! I guess that's what i get for sending my kid to a fancy elementaty school.

    I don't think marriage is totally Obsolete. I do think it's getting a lot easier for people to walk away these days & i think people give up easier than before. There are lots of factors though, For instance, in the 60's it was less common for women to be out & about working & making money. Most women were dependant on their husband's income. When you're financially dependant on someone, it makes it much harder to leave if you want to. I think people in general though, have become more independant from each other over the years.

    Answer by samurai_chica at 10:03 AM on Nov. 18, 2010

  • I think people always take the easy way out and that is why the divorce rate is so high. When people do get married they do not take their vows seriously (excluding abuse/infidelity.etc) but people should not divorce just bc they "fall out" of love. PEople just get bored. The sanctity of marriage is under God and should not be entered into lightly. I do not believe in living together before marriage, and then if there are kids involved, they learn that marriage is not important either, that they can do what they want, and they do not need a "piece" of paper to make them happy. I am not condemning anyone for their decisions, just stating what I believe, so sorry if I offend anyone. Divorce should not be in a married couple's vocabulary...if it is, then you really do not stand a chance.

    Answer by meg4763 at 10:08 AM on Nov. 18, 2010

  • I think people always take the easy way out and that is why the divorce rate is so high.

    dicorce rate is only about 13% Not as high as misread stats say.

    Answer by Carpy at 10:12 AM on Nov. 18, 2010

  • I guess that's what i get for sending my kid to a fancy elementaty school.

    So do you think divorce is more common for poorer people?


    its not just divorce, its about people choosing not to marry


    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 10:17 AM on Nov. 18, 2010

  • I hope not. The kids are my main concern. If a couple splits up and they have a home and car and the kids, who is to decide if the woman will be able to have a home and support for her kids if they are not married ?Marriage provides co-ownership and socialtal approval. I think if I was never going to have kids,then being married would not be as important to me but---if you have kids, the least they deserve is two legally wed parents. They deserve financial and emotional security. MY opinion is that I would not feel comfortable sharing with any man unless we were married.I wouldn't have sex without marriage. It is a long tradition and it represents real commitment. Living together allows the partners to be irresponsible if they want to be. And it is for those who feel "trapped" by commitment. TO ME, it doesn't seem healthy..In other words,in my opinion , so please don't jump on me.


    Answer by kerp1960 at 10:19 AM on Nov. 18, 2010

  • Sadly, yes I think that's what it's coming to. I think a society with less marriages is less stable and that can cause serious problems down the road. Single men are more likely to drink, stay out late, change jobs multiple times, get in fights, less likely to buy a house, etc. (it was a study I read - this does not mean that marriage makes men more responsible, I realize there are singular instances where this is not the case), overall single men are less responsible which I believe leads to instability.

    Answer by missanc at 10:44 AM on Nov. 18, 2010

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