Skip to comments.WHAT DO AMERICANS THINK ABOUT MARRIAGE?
Posted on 07/05/2007 8:19:29 PM PDT by Baladas
A new Pew poll was released this week to great fanfare and an Associated Press story that highlighted just one of its findings: a large drop since 1990 in the proportion of Americans who see children as "very important" to a "successful" marriage. The Pew study itself however has a very different headline: "As Marriage and Parenthood Drift Apart, Public Is Concerned about Social Impact."
One key finding: Americans have a problem with unmarried childbearing. The Pew poll asked this question in a variety of ways: Seventy-one percent of Americans say the growth in births to unwed mothers is a "big problem" for society, while 69 percent agree "A child needs a home with both a mother and father to grow up happily." By a margin of 66 percent to 25 percent, Americans say that "single women having children" is a trend that is "bad for society," rather than "good."
The breadth of this consensus across lines of age, race and education is striking: Seventy percent of whites and 67 percents of black agree it's a bad trend for society (as do 54 percent of Hispanics). Seventy-two percent of senior citizens say it's a bad thing, but so do 65 percent of 18 to 29-year-olds. Sixty-eight percent of college grads worry about unmarried childbearing, but so do 65 percent of Americans with only a high school degree or less.
Sixty-seven percent of those in households making at least $100,000 a year see single parenting as a negative trend, but so do 62 percent of those in households making less than $30,000. Seventy-eight percent of Republicans say it is a bad trend, but so do 61 percent of Democrats and 62 percent of Independents. Eighty-seven percent of white Evangelicals say it's a bad trend for society, but so do about two-thirds of white mainline Protestants, white Catholics and black Protestants.
Even 61 percent of never-married parents agree a child needs a mom and a dad, and 54 percent of never married parents say the trend of single women having kids is bad for society.
In fact the only group in which less than a majority agree that single women having children is bad for society are the "seculars." Forty-five percent of seculars say single women having children is bad for society, while 41 percent say it is a good thing -- which kind of makes one wonder about the reality-base of this particular community.
But Pew also asked the same question in a slightly different way: What do you think of the trend of unmarried (START ITAL) couples having children? Overall, the level of concern dropped slightly, with 59 percent of the general public saying it's a bad thing (still a 2-1 margin opposed). But a significant generation gap emerges: Among 18 to 29-year-olds just 46 percent say unmarried couples having children is a bad thing and 45 percent say it is a good thing for society. The biggest drop off is among Hispanic Catholics: Fifty-two percent disapprove of "single women having children," but only 37 percent say unmarried couples having children is a bad thing for society.
On gay marriage, Americans are against it 57 to 32 percent. Even young adults ages 18 to 29 oppose gay marriage 46 percent to 44 percent.
The next generation is persuaded that children need a mom and a dad. They are less convinced that marriage is the key to giving children that gift. Closing that loop in the mind of young adults is the key to marriage's -- and children's -- future.
Half of them couldn’t give you a good reason why they believe what they believe. Certainly not from any moral aspect; I’m betting if you asked most of them, you’d find they think there is such a thing as ‘safe’ premarital sex.
As for what I think about marriage...I’m all for it.
Gotta keep in mind many respondents live their lives one way, and answer surveys another way.
I suspect many of these responders are saying this for the wrong reasons. Many aggressive ambitious people view children as a status symbol...like a lexus or a summer cottage.
A while back on FR there was an essay, I think a vanity post, where the question was posed ‘what kind of marriage do you want?’ It offered three options - a superficial one, a middling one, and an extreme definition that made marriage sound like a stint at the penitentiary.
It was unintentionally hilarious in that the article was clearly intended to ‘sell’ the third choice, even though it made it sound like a harrowing experience.
If anyone remembers this post, please send me a link if you have it!
Can you or someone else help me understand THIS in particular?:
The biggest drop off is among Hispanic Catholics: Fifty-two percent disapprove of "single women having children," but only 37 percent say unmarried couples having children is a bad thing for society.
It's not marriage itself that may be in question, but the actual crop of people you might want to marry. Are you only looking for "the best"? Should a person "settle" if they don't find the perfect match?
There are too many assumptions hidden in these numbers. I wouldn't conclude anything from them.
So much for religious beliefs as a foundation for morality then.
Actions and words are different. Good point.
if you're not a female...I have one question????? you ever been young once???????
I am male, currently early 20’s. Why?
Americans and “true” conservatives then slip into moral equivalency mode, and it’s okay—Mary Cheney, Fred Thompson, da Mayor, and many others.
The biggest joke is evangelicals intend to endorse Fred Thompson. You got the whole absurd gambit of anti-family values—premarital sex, getting a 17 year-old pregnant, having more kids, divorcing, remarrying someone younger than your first batch of kids, oh and the most family oriented of all—representing the Washington associations for hollywood and the recording industry. Nice.
It proves what I have told people many times over. America really does want a conservative leader with clear goals, and an open and honest government. If repulicans want to win and win big, they need to take out all the old trash that has been around for too long, and start over fresh and new.