WASHINGTON, DC, Mar 23 – Marriage is at an all-time low. There are more single men and women out there than ever before. Things have gotten so bad that the New York Times recently announced that it is no longer covering “weddings,” a section of the paper that made its debut in its very first edition on Sept. 18, 1851. Why? Because there just weren’t enough weddings taking place.
The numbers of men and women who are deciding to tie the knot, as the old saying goes, are the lowest they’ve been since 1867 when the federal government first began keeping track. We’re not alone. Marriage rates are falling throughout the world despite the fact that, according to the Centers for Disease Control [CDC], “Marriage has been shown to be correlated with positive health outcomes and longevity, and a recent report showed that age-adjusted death rates for both males and females are lowest for those who were married at the time of death.” The CDC report shows that marriages in the U.S. reached an all-time high of 16.4 per thousand in the post-World War II era, which, of course, triggered the Baby Boom of 1946 and it’s been declining ever since.
Can it be that, as one survey found, women don’t find 21st century men attractive enough? In fact, the survey shows that a whopping 80% of them don’t find men as physically appealing as they could be.
But there are those who argue that a nihilistic attitude toward traditional marriage is part and parcel of the emerging values of elements among America’s younger generations who may see matrimony as a one-way street that goes only in the direction of the male of the species. It forces resentment and disdain for our traditional moral standards and values. And it might be construed as the beginning of a second, disastrous American Revolution.
Take your pick of two opposing views.
Dissident author Neel Burton M.D. seeks to upend our beliefs in an Opinion article he wrote for Psychology Today. He wrote:
“Why should two people who want to celebrate their love and live together put themselves through a wedding, or even get married at all? Or to turn the question round, what is the state, arm in arm with the Church, doing by sanctioning the private relationships of citizens? By legitimizing a particular kind of relationship and denying others, the state is entrenching monogamy and patriarchy while devaluing and disenfranchising other forms of life and the people who choose or are forced into them, including single people, people in open or polyamorous relationships, and groups such as African Americans and the poor who for various reasons are less likely to marry.
Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D., a former editorial contributor at The Heritage Foundation is a defender of our nation’s norms. He wrote:
“Marriage is based on the truth that men and women are complementary, the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and the reality that children need a mother and a father. Redefining marriage does not simply expand the existing understanding of marriage; it rejects these truths. Marriage is society’s least restrictive means of ensuring the well-being of children. By encouraging the norms of marriage—monogamy, sexual exclusivity, and permanence—the state strengthens civil society and reduces its own role. The future of this country depends on the future of marriage. The future of marriage depends on citizens understanding what it is and why it matters and demanding that government policies support, not undermine true marriage.”
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