Week of February 20, 2011
Courtesy of Bill Coffin
1. Does Marriage Make Us Happy? Should It?, Psychology Today
Researchers tracked the happiness of over 10,000 individuals over the course of 5 years (from the late 1980s to the early 1990s) and found that those in the sample who were married (and especially married for the first time rather than remarried) were significantly happier than any other category (i.e., single, divorced, cohabiting, etc.).
Overall, the study found, Internet dating is a good thing, especially for singles who don’t otherwise have many opportunities to meet people. The industry has been successful, of course — and popular. . . Digital dating is now the second most common way that couples get together, after meeting through friends. But there are certain properties of online dating that actually work against love-seekers, the researchers found, making it no more effective than traditional dating for finding a happy relationship.
3. Is Marriage Irrelevant?, Sliding vs. Deciding
The fact is that a child born to married parents is much more likely to be raised by his or her two parents than a child born to cohabiting parents. For example, a baby born to cohabiting parents is about five times more likely than a baby born to married parents to experience the dissolution of his or her parents relationship by age two. Data presented last year. . . suggested that, by age 12, a child born to cohabiting parents was roughly 2.5 times more likely to experience the dissolution of his or her parent’s relationship than a child born to married parents.
Common elements of the most supportive relationships were that each spouse was aware of the daily work demands on the other, they felt they could talk any time, did not try to distance themselves, did not bombard the family with minor work irritations and did not try to compete with who had had the worse day. Dr Hochwarter said: “Most important, though, was the ability for a spouse to offer support on days when he or she needs it just as much.
5. First Things First: ‘No Cheating, No Dying’, Times Free Press
“It was funny, because they were skeptical just like we were,” said Weil. “They also were curious about why we would do something like that if our marriage wasn’t in trouble, which gave me the opportunity to explain that marriage education is like prevention. Learning to be good at marriage is like learning anything else. You have to practice the skills. There’s no point in waiting until something goes wrong. It is much better to have tools to help you handle what life throws at you before the crises happen, so that they don’t destroy a healthy relationship.”
6. Do We No Longer Need Marriage?, CNN
For Americans with a college degree, divorce is down, marital quality is stable, and family stability is up since the divorce revolution of the 1970s and early 1980s, according to research I have conducted.
However, marriage is in trouble not only in poor communities but also increasingly in Middle America — communities where most people have a high school degree but not a four-year college degree. For Americans without a college degree, divorce remains high, marital quality is falling, and nonmarital childbearing is surging.
The problem with the growing marriage divide in America is that children — and men — often pay a big price.
7. Unwed Childbearing is the ‘New Normal’? Depends on Where You Stand, National Review Online
While marriage unravels in middle America, Murray laments that “politicians and media eminences are too frightened to say . . . [that] nonmarital births are problematic.” My colleague Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation likewise adds that “schools, the welfare system, the health care system, public authorities, and the media all remain scrupulously silent on the subject.”The “new normal” in middle America is a poor substitute for what once was. It contributes to poverty rather than to the stability upon which the American dream has been built.
As Murray asserts: “When it comes to marriage . . . the new upper class must start preaching what it practices.”
For more, see this site.