Presentation on theme: "Annette Krawczyk Professor Anne-Marie Yerks English Composition 106 Online 30 November 2010."— Presentation transcript:
Annette Krawczyk Professor Anne-Marie Yerks English Composition 106 Online 30 November 2010
The government and media’s perception is that the Millennial generation in the US is rejecting marriage. The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 provides $150 million each year to the Healthy Marriage Initiative. The federal government funded a $5 million dollar ad campaign for 4 years in 2009 to promote the benefits of marriage. Some state governments have created tax credit programs to encourage parents to stay together. “…Finally, preliminary research shows that marriage education workshops can make a real difference in helping married couples stay together and in encouraging unmarried couples who are living together to form a more lasting bond…” -Barack Obama, Audacity of Hope, 2006
The Healthy Marriage Initiative promotes the benefits of a healthy marriage. These benefits include, but are not limited to: For Children More likely to attend college and succeed academically Healthier physically and emotionally Less likely to be a victim of physical or sexual abuse Less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol Decreases their chance of divorcing when they are married For Women Healthier emotionally - less likely to attempt or commit suicide Healthier physically Less likely to be a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or other violent crimes Less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol Wealthier For Men Physically healthier - live longer Increase in the stability of employment Higher wages Less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol Less likely to commit violent crimes
A recent poll by Time Magazine and the Pew Research Center found that in 1960, 72% of all adults in this country were married; in 2008, only 52% of all adults were married. Another survey of year olds reported by the Washington Times in March 2008 states: – 22% have a strong belief in marriage – 14% are strongly against marriage – The rest of the group had a more “practical” view of marriage. They may get married at some point in the future when they were more established as an individual and if they felt their marriage would last.
The average age of Americans getting married has been rising over years. The surveys that have been conducted only prove that less people between the age of are currently married, not that they will never be married. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most people marry. They estimate that 80% of men and women will marry by the time they are 40. Although many surveys and polls show that marriage is declining, others demonstrate that Millennials are waiting until they are more established to get married. They are graduating from college and entering the workforce before they are married.
Millennials have many traditional values but with an unconventional spin. They believe strongly in family, but how they define a family is not the same as previous generations. They are more likely to live unmarried with a partner and even have kids before they are married. Previous generations have classified a family as a married couple with or without kids. Now, couples that are married or have children are considered a family. Many people even include unmarried couples living together without children in the definition of a family. With the definition of a family changing, it is not surprising that the marriage rate has declined. Marriage is no longer a requirement for a family, but according to the Washington Times publication in March 2008, 84% of Millennials respect marriage. The Millennial generation has grown up with a divorce rate of %. They have learned from their parents and are taking a more cautious approach to marriage.
My own personal experience of the Millennials’ feelings about marriage seem to relate to the educational class they are in. I have been told the following: Marriage is pointless and is just a piece of paper. You don’t need to get married to have a family. Declarations from friends that they will never get married. They witnessed ugly divorces their parents went through, and never want to encounter that themselves. You don’t need to get married to have a family. It’s best to live together and make sure marriage will work out. Due to religious beliefs and cultural traditions, I lived with my family until I was married. My husband was to be well established and be able to provide for me, even though I have a college degree and can provide for myself.
These differing perspectives support the study reported by the Washington Times that there are a small percentage of Millennials that have strong views for and against marriage. The affects that educational class has on marital views is supported by a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center which states that marriage remains customary for college educated adults with a good income, whereas marriage is less likely among those with lower education and less financial stability. My peers that communicated a negative view of marriage generally had lower educational levels, high school diploma or less. Those peers that had a more positive outlook on marriage, seemed to have attended some college or graduated from college. Then there are those whose religious beliefs and family have helped define their attitude towards marriage. My husband and I lived together for years before getting married. We both knew we wanted to marry each other, but waited until we were more financially stable.
Through the research I completed, I found that initial predications about Millennials’ stance on marriage was bleak, but as time has passed, researchers have found that Millennials have a high regard for marriage and family. Studies have shown that Millennials are focusing more on building their own stability through education and obtaining careers so they can assure a long and happy marriage. Though the definition of the family is changing, Millennials have a great respect for marriage and most will marry by the age of 40.