More and more people are separating marriage from childbearing and chidren.
By Janice Shaw Crouse
In a culture where everybody talks about doing what is best for kids, more and more people are separating marriage from childbearing and childrearing. A just-released Pew survey of over 2,000 adults indicates what the Washington Post calls a “widening gap between parenthood and marriage.” While parents are crazy about their kids, they no longer view them as a reason for marriage. In fact, out of the nine factors being measured by Pew as essential to success in marriage, children came in next to last. A mere 41 percent of those responding to the Pew survey said that children are important to a good marriage. In contrast, in 1990 fully 65 percent of respondents claimed that children are part of a good marriage.
In other words, marriage today is all about the adults’ preferences; it is all about “me.” If couples get married at all, the “until death do us part” aspect is disappearing; many couples get together or stay together only when they see some personal benefit in the togetherness. The end result is that nearly 60 percent of children in the U.S. live in single-parent families whose poverty rate is 4-5 times higher than married couple families.Indeed, cohabitation has increased 10-fold since 1970 with more than 5 million couples today living together without marriage and with 37 percent of American children currently born out-of-wedlock.