Friday, October 31, 2014
Lower marriage rates have varied consequences and explanations
Robert J. Samuelson’s op-ed in the Washington Post on Oct. 27, “The Family Deficit” (link), is certainly worth noting. He stresses that the percentage of adults in almost all age groups who have never married (including me) has risen sharply since 1960, to astounding levels.
He is rightly critical of people having kids without marriage. And, as some readers point out, he never got around to mentioning gay marriage, and the idea of gay adoptive parents.
For most of my adult life, however, my topological “singleton-ness” was, in practical terms, equivalent to a lack of sustainable heterosexual passion, enough to start and sustain a marriage (usually with children). I made my own separate peace with society (almost along the lines of the John Knowles novel and movie), largely becoming an individual content creator. But I did not offer “myself” in intimate situations the way some people would want, and the “example I set” doesn’t lead to sustainability.
But a discussion of lower marriage rates has several, widely differing implications. One of these might include lower birth rates, as much as children raised by single parents.