Could Marriage Be On The Verge Of Extinction?
Now that summer is winding down, it’s also time for wedding season to do the same. Around this time of year there always seems to be a cluster of last minute weddings and engagement parties. Eager brides looking to utilize the beautiful weather usually cram this time of year with festivities.
However according to some recent studies, millennials are now saying no to the dress and refusing to get married, in record numbers. Could the United States be witnessing the extinction of marriage? At first the question may seem dramatic but once the theory is analyzed, it earns the validity.
Throughout the history of western culture, marriage started its natural course from an economic arrangement between men and women to now a union based on love, no matter the gender. It seems as though we (people) are not only witnessing but also taking part in a cultural transformation. According to an article written by Bentley University, the transformation is even reflected in the average age that men and women are currently getting married.
In 1960 the average age of men getting married was 23 years old and for women, the average age of marriage was 20 years old. However in today’s society Bentley University reports that the average age that men get married has soared to 29 and 27 years old for women. The averages apply to those millennials who are in fact still getting married which according to an Urban Institute, may drop by 70%.
So if society is really witnessing the end of marriage as we know it, the next valid question would be why? An analysis of data from a current population survey by Pew Research gives an interesting answer. According to the analysis, young couples are opting to live together instead as about a quarter of unmarried adults (25-34 years old) are living with a significant other.
Although marriage is still a long term goal for many millennials, the lack of a firm economic foundation (especially for those with lower levels of income and education) has taken away the social allure of the tradition. At this rate the tradition of marriage will soon require life support and the likelihood of it’s survival will depend on the country’s economic status. However the economy is not the only catalyst working hard in the extinction of marriage.
According to certain national surveys millennial aloe find themselves feeling restricted by the rules of traditional marriage. No matter which theory is accepted, both predict a bleak future ahead for the tradition of marriage.