Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Marriage is Still Vastly Popular

Tom Leykis keeps repeating that the 2010 U.S. Census showed that for the first time ever in the Census, there are more unmarried adults than married adults.

I’ve heard before that there are now more unmarried “households” than married, which would be significantly different than what Leykis is saying, because each married household would have TWO adults, and many of the unmarried households would have just one adult, meaning that married adults would still significantly outnumber unmarried people.

But... either way, what does it mean? Tom focuses on it to point out that 1) marriage is dead (and I agree that it very well may be dying) and 2) more and more people are thinking/acting like him.

Well hold on there a minute.

Tom advocates not only not marrying, but not having children, not living with anyone else, and not being in an exclusive relationship at all. People who are sticking to that are a tiny percentage of the population.

The overwhelming majority percentage of Americans will get married at least once. Even most of those who never have a marriage ceremony will shack up or otherwise share quarters and/or have children.

Even ardent fans of Leykis will call in an admit that they "fell off the wagon", especially when his show wasn't being distributed live because he was waiting for his contract with CBS Radio to run out (and was getting paid). They got into relationships, many marrying, many having children.

So again, let's assume he's right – there are now more PEOPLE unmarried than people married, rather than it applying to households and not individuals.

Why would change be in effect?

1) People are getting married later. Rather than marrying at 17, 18, 19, 20, people are getting married at 25, 30, and 35. So there are more unmarried 25 year-olds than there used to be. BUT THESE PEOPLE ARE STILL MARRYING.

2) Widows/widowers are living longer. BUT THESE PEOPLE WERE MARRIED and many of them seek to get married again.

3) People are divorcing earlier, living longer after divorce, or waiting longer before entering into another marriage after a divorce. THESE PEOPLE WERE MARRIED and many of them seek to get married again.

4) More people are living in what are essentially commonlaw marriages, which is definitely not what Leykis would advise.

5) Marriage strikers/MGTOW/Leykis 101 Students
who are deliberately avoiding marriage.

I'm also curious as to whether the Census classified people whose spouse is in prison, hospitalized, or temporarily working elsewhere/deployed as "single" or "unmarried" (as I know some statistics have) or correctly counted them as married?

Married people OR married households STILL make up almost as much of the population as all of bachelors/bachelorettes/spinsters, same-sex, divorce, single parent, divorced, widowed, and marriage strikers COMBINED.

Now, maybe there is an ongoing trend and marriage rates/lengths will decline significantly. Leykis seems to think so. The other day he was citing polling of “Millennials” and their attitudes towards marriage, and that they don't think it is so important. I can believe that, and it is not surprising they also think there can be marriages without a bride or without a groom. It's part of the same issue. However, as those people age, most will marry and have children, and even those who don't will see other people do it, and a whole lot of them will change their opinions about the significance of marriage and what marriage is and isn't.

Please don't misunderstand me. I’m not saying everyone should marry and raise children. I'm certainly not saying that the legal realities of marriage today are good or beneficial for men (and even many marriage advocates will admit that marriage is for the benefit of children and women, not for men). I'm not denying that demographics are changing. And personally, for reasons I think I've explained in other postings, if I had to do it over again I can't say I would get married. What I AM saying is that statistics are funny things. The way Leykis talks, you'd think that there majority of people are now thinking and living like him (or at least, how he advocates because he has been married himself, but now advises against it). Clearly, that's not the case. All you have to do is look around. Almost all women have either been married or want to marry (or, at least have a wedding).  An overwhelming majority of men alive now who've never been married will get married, enthusiastically or reluctantly.

[Bumped up because of news in September 2014 that stated this statistic again]

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