Study: Marriage Could Become Optional, Obsolete

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new study out Thursday showed more and more Americans believe marriage could become optional or even obsolete.

The study was conducted by the Pew Research Center in association with Time Magazine.

It found that four out of 10 Americans believed marriage was becoming obsolete. In 1978, just 28 percent felt that way.

Dr. Stephen R. Treat, a couples and family therapist with Council for Relationships, wasn’t surprised or concerned.

“I think it’s a trend thing. Right now, there’s been so much transition in the definition of family,” Dr. Treat said.

The study found that about 29 percent of children under 18 currently live with a parent or parents who are unwed or no longer married, that’s five times more than the number from 1960.

According to the study, of the 29 percent of children living with unwed or no longer married parents, 15 percent have parents who are divorced or separated and 14 percent who were never married. Within those groups, the study found that six percent of the children have parents who are live-in couples who opted to raise children without getting married.

Dr. Treat says in addition to people’s own family history, most of his clients fear marriage for various reasons.

“It’s fear of that level of commitment, what happens when it doesn’t work? I don’t want to bind my finances, bind my life. What happens if we have a child and it doesn’t work,” Dr. Treat said, but added, in his view, marriage isn’t going anywhere.

The study agreed, stating while a growing number of Americans may feel marriage is not so necessary, almost 70 percent felt upbeat about the future of marriage and family.

Reported By: Elizabeth Hur, CBS 3

Comments

One Comment

  1. Anonymous says:

    My parents were married for 62 years. When I got married years ago, I got married with ‘forever’ in my heart and mind. Abuse and adultery happened (him) and I am now divorced 17 years, never re-married, and am too afraid to do it again. I think nowadays, marriage doesn’t seem to be necessary because a lot of the sanctity, respect, and reverence has been taken out of it. For instance, a lot of the benefits that were ‘reserved’ for “Married” people are now being given out to ‘everybody’. So people are saying, what’s the point in getting married with we can have the same benefits of marriage ‘without’ being married. It’s so awful though. Marriage is Sacred and should be kept Sacred. Not to be taken lightly …. and so many people take it lightly …. like it’s a big joke. Such a shame.

  2. anonymous says:

    What happened to the covenant that is marriage? What happened to the respect and honor that is marriage? Marriage is a lifelong covenant, not a contract! When a man and wife join, they become one in Spirit. Marriage is sacred and should be kept a such. I was asked at my wedding how long I thought my first marriage would last… Since I do not agree with divorce, it is morally wrong (unless there is abuse and/or adultery), my marriage will last my whole life no matter what!

  3. AN OLDER AND HAPPIER HERBERT HOOVER says:

    MORE AND MORE, ITS ABOUT “ME” AND BEING HAPPY NOW . CANT FAULT THAT
    ARGUMENT, ….. AS WE ONLY LIVE ONCE, NO SECOND CHANCES TO START OVER. BUT MAYBE STARTING OVER , OLDER, WE APPRECIIATE MORE OUR NEW MATE, CRITICIZE LESS, AND ENJOY THE MOMENT. THAT SEEMS TO COME WITH
    LEARNING, EXPERIENCE AND AGE…

  4. Nostromo says:

    The last generation which believed in the functionality, integrity and sanctity of marriage is slowing leaving this life. My Parents, married for 53 years are both deceased as of the end of last month. Mother preceded Father in death in 2008.

    I saw in my Parents a devotion, in sickness, health, both poor and rich and these two gave their five offspring the tools to do the job. I do not see the same commitment in my age contemporaries.

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