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Despite (or because of) the MGTOW movement, feminism creating greater equality, and the wealth of options for single people, the nature of marriage has changed.

This is a good thing.

No longer do women feel obligated to forgo an education, skip a career, and move directly from her father’s house to her husband’s house at age 21, like my Mom did.

No longer do women feel obligated to forgo an education, skip a career, and move directly from her father’s house to her husband’s house at age 21, like my Mom did.

Women graduate college at a 1/3 higher rate and 40% of working wives now  out-earn their husbands. Which means marriage is not a necessity, but a luxury.

Does that mean marriage is dying? Not by a long shot. But in lower-class communities, it certainly seems to be on a respirator. From the New York Times:

“Fewer Americans are marrying overall, and whether they do so is more tied to socioeconomic status than ever before. In recent years, marriage has sharply declined among people without college degrees, while staying steady among college graduates with higher incomes. Currently, 26 percent of poor adults, 39 percent of working-class adults and 56 percent of middle- and upper-class adults ages 18 to 55 are married.”

Keep in mind: most people still want to fall in love and get married. But women loathe   hitching their trains to men with less education and income. Understandably so.

Keep in mind: most people still want to fall in love and get married.

As I mentioned in this piece, there is a greater stratification in behavior between rich and poor than ever before when it comes to marriage.

“College graduates are more likely to plot their lives methodically – vetting people they date until they’re sure they want to move in with them, and using birth control to delay childbirth until their careers are underway.

Less educated people are more likely to move in with boyfriends or girlfriends in a matter of months, and to get pregnant at a younger age and before marriage. This can make financial and family stability harder to achieve later on.”

Finally, the author of the piece, Claire Cain Miller, does a great job in looking at this issue without judgment, from both sides of the aisle. She concludes that there are no easy answers and that marriage may never return to the lower class as it existed before.

“When thinking about how to make families more stable, researchers debate whether the decline in marriage is an economic issue or a cultural one. Those on the left usually say it’s economic – and could be reversed if there were more and better jobs for men without college degrees. Those on the right are more likely to say it’s because of a deterioration of cultural values.

In reality, economics and culture both play a role, and influence each other, social scientists say. When well-paying jobs became scarce for less educated men, they became less likely to marry. As a result, the culture changed: Marriage was no longer the norm, and out-of-wedlock childbirth was accepted. Even if jobs returned, an increase in marriage wouldn’t necessarily immediately follow.”

Your thoughts, as always, are greatly appreciated, in the comments section below.