NOM BLOG

There is Always Hope for Marriage

 

Marriage has been in a free fall for several decades, but new research shows that the tide is ready to turn. Over at The Federalist, marriage scholar Dr. Brad Wilcox makes the case that despite falling marriage rates, the institution is poised to make a comeback:

Over the last half century, marriage has taken quite a beating. Since the 1960s, the rate of new marriages has fallen by more than 50 percent, and rates of divorce and single parenthood has more than doubled. The end result is that marriage is no longer the anchor for the adult life course or the family foundation for the bearing and rearing of children that it once was. Forecasts expect the marriage rate to hit an all-time low next year.

stk307181rknBut a close look at recent trends in marriage, non-marital childbearing, and single parenthood suggests that the nation’s retreat from marriage may be slowing… the marriage rate has not declined in recent years; the ratio of babies being born outside of wedlock has held steady at 41 percent since the Great Recession; and the share of children living in single-parent families has hovered around slightly more than one-quarter for more than a decade.

It was also suggested that marriage and having children, in that order, will be on the rise in the upcoming years:

Moreover, a growing number of college-educated millennials are now moving into the stage of life where they are poised to start families by marrying and having children—in that order—in the spirit of “high-investment parenting” (HIP) recently identified by Richard Reeves at Brookings. The movement of college-educated millennials into family life should keep these trends on a stable course. Taken together, the data suggest that the reports of marriage’s death have been exaggerated.

Dr. Wilcox also notes that studies continue to show that an intact marriage is not only about children, but is actually the best environment for children:

First, and foremost, marriage is about providing the best environment for our children. Virtually every week, I run across another study showing this. But what is striking about some of the new research is that it suggests boys, in particular, benefit from being raised in an intact, married home. For instance, in the last week I read fascinating new studies from Harvard University economist Raj Chetty and from Princeton University sociologist Sara McLanahan and their colleagues. These new studies indicate that family structure has especially powerful effects on boys. The new study from Chetty and his colleagues found that areas “with high crime rates and a large fraction of single parents generate particularly negative outcomes for boys relative to girls” when it comes to predicting their future income.

All of this is good news indeed, and a wonderful reiteration that marriage, as between a man and a woman, will always be a fundamental part of society. Science, logic, and history have demonstrated this, and nothing will ever change this truth.

Source via The Federalist.