Ethics & Religion
A Column by Michael J. McManus
 

Home
Page

For Current Column
See the Home Page

 

About the
Columnist

 

Search this
Site...

 

Column Archives
List of all columns 
2020

2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012

2011

2010

2009
2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

For 2003 and earlier
only the title is listed.
Use the Search Function
to find the article.

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

1998

 

About The
Columnist

 

Email
Comments
to Mike

Ethics & Religion
Column #2,030
July 8, 2020
Divorce Rates Are Falling
By Mike McManus

America's divorce rate is falling according to two different reports. The divorce rate dropped 18% between 2008 and 2016 according to the Centers for Disease Control.

TIME magazine's headline for this story was delightful: "The Latest Thing Millennials Are Being Blamed For Killing? Divorce."

"Americans under the age of 45 have found a novel way to rebel against their elders," TIME tartly asserted. "They are staying married." It pointed to new data that "younger couples are approaching relationships very differently from baby boomers, who married young, divorced, remarried and so on. Generation X especially." TIME cited the same 18% decline from 2008 to 2016.

"Generation X and especially millennials are being pickier about who they marry, tying the knot at older ages when education, careers and finances are on track." That's how the divorce rate fell by nearly one-fifth from 2008 to 2016, according to an analysis by University of Maryland sociology professor Philip Cohen.

However, the CDC also points out that America's marriage rate is declining - though not as much.

Even when Cohen adjusted for demographic shifts, like the age when people get married, he found an 8% drop. He added, "The regression models show no increase in adjusted divorce odds at any age."

TIME asserted that one reason divorce rates are falling largely because of other demographic changes "especially an aging population. Older people are less likely to get divorced, so maybe mellowing boomers were enough to explain the trend."

However, "Young people get the credit for fewer divorces because boomers have continued to divorce at unusually high rates, all the way into their 60s and 70s. From 1990 to 2015, according to Bowling Green's National Center for Family and Marriage Research, the divorce rate doubled for people aged 55 to 64, and even tripled for Americans 65 and older.

Cohen's results suggest this trend called "grey divorce," may have leveled out in the past decade, but "boomers are still divorcing at much higher rates than previous generations did at similar ages."

Yet national divorce rates are down overall. One reason is the "increasingly selective nature of marriage - which makes marriage more solid for the people who can swing it - people who are at high levels of economic interdependence."

Everyone else? Marriage might be a stretch for many to begin with. "The trends described here represent progress toward a system in which marriage is rarer and more stable, than it was in the past, representing an increasingly central component in the structure of social inequality," Cohen writes.

Susan Brown, a sociology professor at Bowling Green State University, said of Cohen's analysis, "The characteristics of young married couples today signal a sustained decline (in divorce rates) in the coming years."

Sadly, however, many poorer and less educated Americans are opting not to get married at all. They're living together, and raising kids together, but are not tying the knot. Studies report that these cohabiting relationships generally do not endure.

My wife and I wrote a book, Living Together: Myths, Risks & Answers, which details the extreme danger of couples cohabiting. The theory that couples living together before marriage could "test" their relationship - and thus avoid a bad marriage before it began - seems plausible. "If we live together first, we will really know if we're compatible."

However, we provided evidence that couples cannot practice permanence. Most cohabiting couples break up rather than marry. And of those who do marry, their divorce rate is actually higher than among couples who never lived together.

The good news is that divorce rates are down, because more couples have learned to make their marriage partnerships work. This is important not just for the couples - but for their children. Only marriage offers a secure home in which children can grow happily.

However, as noted above, marriage rates are down as well.

The fact that the divorce rate fell 18% is great news.

Every divorce is the destruction of a small civilization.


_________________________

Copyright (c) 2020 Michael J. McManus, President of Marriage Savers and a syndicated columnist. To read past columns, go to www.ethicsandreligion.commm. Hit Search for any topic.

 

  Since 1981...
2000+ Columns
  LATEST ARTICLE
  August 6, 2020: Column 2034: The Devastation of Pornography
  Recent Columns
  Marriages Are Falling - But Improving
  Divorce Rates Are Falling
  Cohabitation: the Enemy of Marriage
  America's Belief in God Plunges
  How To Reduce Suicide
  How to Help Your Marriage Grow
  How To Stop Drug Addiction
  Love Your Spouse
  Reform No Fault Divorce
  Cut Federal Funds for Planned Parenthood
  Saving Marriages In Crisis
  The Horror of Soaring Suicides
  Make Adoption More Appealing
  Want a Successful Marriage?
  Why Go To Marriage Encounter
  Where Are the Fathers?
  The Addictive Nature of Pornography
  Abortion Becoming Illegal
  Protecting Girls from Suicide
  The Worst Valentine: Cohabitation
  Pornography: A Public Health Hazard
  Sextortion Kills Teens
  Cohabitation: A Risky Business
  Recent Searches
  gun control, euthanasia, cohabitation, sexting, sextortion, alcoholism, prayer, guns, same sex marriage, abortion, depression, islam, divorce, polygamy, religious liberty, health care, pornography, teen sex, abortion and infanticide, Roe+v+Wade, supreme court, marriage, movies, violence, celibacy, living+together, cohabitation, ethics+and+religion, pornography, adultery, divorce, saving+marriages
©2020 Michael J. McManus syndicated columnist  / mike@marriagesavers.org
Ethics & Religion at http://www.ethicsandreligion.com
82 Tuckaway Lane, Kilmarnock, VA 22482 / 804-435-5192
President & Co-Chair Marriage Savers / www.marriagesavers.org
Site Sponsored by enktesis.com