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The Decline Of Marriage In 21st Century: The Disguise Of Societal Improvement

1362 words - 6 pages

The sudden socioeconomic transformation of the last century has substantially affected the tradition of marriage in modern society. Therefore, several alternatives to marriage have become available and grown to be more popular than marriage for today’s couples due to its suitability to current conditions. Some of these alternative statuses to marriage are cohabitation, divorce, or simply continuing to be single and this claim is supported through the findings of a recent study. The percentage of adults who are married has notably decreased from 1960 to 2008 by twenty percent (Pew Research Center). These statistics will not improve any time soon as “the average age at which men and women ...view middle of the document...

In a study completed by Pew Research Center, it was discovered that “about 62 percent say the best marriage is one where the husband and wife both work and both take care of the household” which has increased by 14 percent since 1977 (Yen). This proves that humanity has positively developed to incorporate gender equality and indicates that more women can embrace their individualism. An example of this is women have the “choice about when and if to become pregnant, and, by extension, an affordable choice when and if to stay in a marriage” and therefore can make their own life decisions rather than others making them. (Cunningham). Today, women are not forced to surrender their lives for marriage, which evidently expresses that humankind is constantly reaching closer to more equality between genders.
Religion has been a major component in marriage and many have interpreted its recent decline, as a loss of morals but it has in fact made a positive impact on humanity. This diminishing characteristic of marriage can be clearly seen through the increase in atheists. Indeed, “the % saying they were atheists increased in 15 of 18 countries from 1991 to 2008,” which includes the United States (Smith). Since religion has several rules and customs that are observed, such as prohibition of pre-marital sexual intercourse and/or divorce discouraged, they no longer apply to one’s actions. The fear of punishment by God, similar to the flood of Noah’s Ark, does not pertain anymore to people to live in a certain way (Religion and Morality). This effect has been seen with the dramatic increase of children that are residing with unwed or divorced parents. In terms of numbers, “about 29 percent of children” are in this type of residence, which is “a fivefold increase from 1960” (Yen). These statistics that show a substantial growth, demonstrates that decline in religion has certainly adjusted the extent of acceptance towards these ways of living in society. This is reconfirmed with the comparison of divorce rates and degree of religiosity. A study has found that “…for every share of conservative Protestants compared with mainline Protestants, the divorce rate increased 0.02%” (Reyes). Some may argue that religion prevented these terrifying divorces, but family psychologist, Dr. Pinsof states, “the divorce decision, however initially difficult, is in a number of circumstances a positive act” (Cunningham). Given this information, it would be fair to infer humankind has grown to discover that with religion less prevalent, other choices besides marriage are at times better opportunities.
With the increase in alternatives to marriage, modern society has changed the definition of the traditional family, and is leaning closer to ending this idea of the traditional family. By traditional, it is referring to the customary part of life where it was more than expected for young adults to have a family that typically consisted of the wife and two children in the beginning...

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