Americans are getting married later and later in life these days. So precisely why is this happening?
As you will see below, the average age when men and women first get married in the United States is getting perilously close to 30, but in the middle of the last century is was close to 20. There has been a dramatic cultural shift, and this has resulted in a whole host of unintended consequences. Because even though people are getting married later, they are still engaging in behaviors that in previous generations were considered reserved for those that had made a permanent commitment. The family has always been one of the foundational institutions in society, but now it is breaking down at a very alarming pace. Our young people have been trained to think that getting married, having children and raising a family are not important priorities, and this is showing up in a myriad of various ways.
In America today, the average woman is getting married 7.0 years later than she did in 1956, and the average man is getting married 6.7 years later than he did back then. The following comes from CNBC…
The typical U.S. woman now marries at 27.1 years old, the typical man at 29.2, according to census data. That’s up from record lows of 20.1 for women and 22.5 for men in 1956.
“They’re concentrating more on school, careers and work and less focused on forming new families, spouses or partners and children,” said Richard Fry, lead author of the report and a senior economist at the Pew Research Center. Fry said of the millennials.
At one time, a woman was considered to be an “Old Maid” if she had not married by the age of 25, but in this day and age that is about the time that many women are just getting started seriously looking for a mate.
One of the big reasons why men and women are both delaying marriage so much these days is because our young people are constantly being inundated with messages that tell them that it is much more fun to be single. If you aren’t doing so already, start paying attention to how marriage and parenthood are being portrayed to our young adults on television and in the movies. In most cases, getting married at a young age is portrayed as being a “mistake”, and having children is often depicted as a good way to ruin your future.
And of course a lifestyle that involves sexual promiscuity is almost always portrayed as more desirable than a lifetime commitment to a single person. Just watch any television show or movie that is targeted to young males in particular. Being able to “score” often and with as many women as possible is what they are told they should do, and very rarely are they encouraged to value marriage and fatherhood.
This dramatic cultural shift that we have seen over the past several decades is having some very serious unintended consequences.
For one thing, an increasing number of our young people are choosing to never leave the nest. In fact, the percentage of our young adults that are living at home now exceeds the percentage of our young adults that are married or are living with a partner…
Nearly a third of millennials live with their parents, slightly more than the share of their age group who live with a spouse or partner. For this age group, the researchers say, this is the first time that living at home has overtaken living with a spouse since the U.S. Census began keeping track in 1880.
As recently as 2000, nearly 43 percent of young adults, ages 18 to 34, were married or living with a partner. By 2014, that proportion was just 31.6 percent.
In 2000, only 23 percent of young adults were living with parents. In 2014, the figure reached 32.1 percent.
Another unintended consequence has been a huge rise in the number of unmarried women giving birth to children.
When the average age of first marriage was at a record low in 1956, about 5 percent of all babies in America were born to unmarried parents. Today, more than 40 percent of all babies in America are born to unmarried parents.
In addition, just because young adults are not getting married does not mean that they are not looking for outlets for their sexual desires.
Of course lots and lots of people are sleeping around, but others are seeking alternative ways to fill what is missing in their lives. Right now, there are more than four million adult websites on the Internet, and they get more traffic than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined. This plague has become so widespread that it has been estimated that even 68 percent of all Christian men watch pornography on a regular basis.
Clearly we have a major problem.
And I haven’t even mentioned the millions of abortions and millions of STD cases that have resulted from the “sexual revolution” that we have witnessed.
As the institution of the family has broken down, we have become lonelier, more isolated, less healthy and more prone to addictive behaviors as a society.
Could it be possible that previous generations of Americans actually knew what they were doing?
Could it be possible that it would be a good thing to teach our young people to value marriage and family?
Could it be possible that we are actually designed to get married and have children at a relatively younger age?
What we are doing right now is definitely not working. We have one of the highest divorce rates on the entire planet, the CDC says that there are about 20 million new STD cases each calendar year, we have tens of millions of men that are addicted to pornography, and somewhere around a third of all children in the United States are currently being raised in a home without a father.
So is there a solution to this mess?
If so, what would that look like?
Please feel free to tell us what you think by posting a comment below…