Countless statistics show marriage is a good thing for people and society. The Heritage Foundation has numerous studies discussing the financial, health, and overall living benefits that come along with marriage versus cohabitation or the single life. That’s why marriage is an important part of a thriving civil society that makes limited government possible.
But an increasing number of men and women (especially of the current generation) are delaying marriage or simply not getting married. Why is that, when the facts point to life successes after the “I do’s”?
Steve Crowder, a Fox News contributor, recently cited his answer to this cultural question. For Crowder the answer is two-fold: 1) The present media culture paints a negative view of married life and 2) Pro-marriage people sit and take it. He writes:
Sadly, marriage has become a punchline in today’s society. From referring to the wife as “the old ball and chain” to nearly every poorly written sitcom that we watch, the message we’re sending to today’s generation is clear… Marriage = no fun.
Unfortunately, these messages seem to work. According to a Pew Research Center survey in association with TIME magazine notes that in 2008 only 26 percent of twenty-somethings were married.
These numbers are staggering in comparison to past generations in which two-thirds of twenty-somethings were married in 1960. Contrast the shows of that time—like The Andy Griffith Show and Leave It to Beaver, shows that promoted family life—with today’s TV. As the years went by and societal perceptions changed, Americans have sat and watched the change in culture without defending their way of life.
Crowder concludes with making that case that more happily married couples need to vocalize the virtues of marriage. Couples must come up with creative ways to show society and our culture what it means to be in a happy marriage, because without the institution of marriage, couples will miss out on not only the benefits of marriage, but the joys that come along with it.
Alyssa Badolato is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm