Friday, January 8, 2010
The Increasingly Antagonistic War of the Sexes: The State of our Unions
The University of Virginia National Marriage Project yearly puts out a report on marriage and divorce called, The State of Our Unions: Marriage in America. And things looks bad. Of course, what everyone seems to talk about, the divorce rate, is on a gradual decline. And that, by itself, is good. But the marriage rate is not only declining, it is doing so at an accelerating rate.
First thing to notice (pic 1, courtesy of Family in America) , is that the number of marriages is decreasing. Unless you are saving yourself for marriage, virtually every reason for marriage is now obsolete. Perhaps you say, those things that denigrated the single and out-of-wedlock were bad, but the alternative isn't looking so hot either.
Using this graph, a back-of-the-envelope calculation tells me that in 35 years, the marriage rate will reach 0. Of course, there will be a few weirdos like Mormons and Catholics who will keep on regardless. Already, it is very nearly broken in some cultural circles : see "Marriage is for White People".
Elsewhere, the last 30 years of marriage rates were trend line fitted and found to be accelerating at a rate that gives us about 20 years, give or take, before marriage as a cultural institution is effectively dead for the masses. Men and Women have effectively decided, "Why buy the cow if the milk is free?"
This makes the entire divorce hand-wringing seem like it is quite missing the point. I could point out a host of other alarming graphs and statistics, but this doesn't give you significant pause, nothing else will either.
The Pew Research Center doesn't have much good to say either - putting those who are actively seeking a relationship as a minority.
I see no solution for this or the ills it will bring with it, but the Gospel itself.