There are certainly myriad reasons why marriages are stronger now than thirty years ago, but I’d imagine that chief among them are things heavily influenced by feminism. As traditional gender roles expand, women and men have greater choice in who they marry. Men no longer shoulder the burden of being the sole breadwinner, and women are no longer expected to do all of the home and child-care. Women are going to college and grad school in record numbers, and are meeting people with whom they are share genuine interests and goals. People are delaying marriage, and marriages entered into later in life tend to be more stable and longer-lasting. Marriage is increasingly optional, and so more couples enter into it when they want to, instead of getting married so that they can escape social pressure or have children or live together or have sex without guilt. And couples can have sex for pleasure instead of constantly fearing another pregnancy, making marriage very much an institution for the two people who enter into it, and, ideally, fostering families who can choose to have children when they’re ready (which obviously makes for happier parents).
Next step: Making this institution open to everyone.
- Feminism: Great for Marriage by Jill January 26, 2010
- File Under “Feminism is Good for Families” by Jill February 9, 2009
- David Brooks has a question. by Jill March 30, 2010
- How about this? Don’t change your name. by Mr. J June 30, 2008
- I Should Stop Reading News Sites… by frau sally benz March 23, 2010